Sunday, August 24, 2014

Can Music Be Perfect? Vol. 44

There are so many things I love about this song. The obvious things: Gladys is a great singer; the Pips and their moves; it's a fantastically simple but hooky love song. The less obvious things: not only is it a great pop song, but it also captures a particular personal decision at a particular moment in historical time... the Great Migration and the subsequent reverse migration by some; the conventional pattern of call and response, in which we expect the Pips to echo, accentuate, or comment on Gladys's lyric, is often reversed, with the Pips moving the story along by anticipating Gladys's next line: "He kept dreaming (Dreaming); Ooh, that some day he'd be a star (A superstar, but he didn't get far); But he sure found out the hard way that dreams don't always come true, oh no, uh uh." Yessir, this one is perfect.

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