Analysis: The Big Bang

Maybe I don’t listen to / analyse enough pop, but from a lyric-writing standpoint, The Big Bang is an intelligently written song.

The title is The Big Bang.

Obviously a reference to the currently-held belief that the Universe was formed in one moment, in one “Big Bang”.

Lyrically, this song continues to play with this metaphor in a very consistent manner (except in one place, see below).

Combustible.

Explode.

The reason I’m alive.

Stars collide.

Light up the sky.

Universe inside.

All of the above metaphorical phrases fit with the big bang idea.

This is really, really clever lyric writing.  This sort of thing takes a long time to pare down and get right.  Someone(s) worked hard to get this lyric to be this smart.

Jai Josefs says that music runs in cycles of 25 years.  We’ve just emerged from the “rhythm only” period (hip hop) and now we’re entering the “melody on top of rhythm” period.

This song, The Big Bang, sounds like hip hop, but it has a strong melody impressed on top of the beat.

In the bridge – “I don’t wanna be mummified” – the song becomes pure hip-hop – spoken word, no melody.  Musically, very cool.  A bridge is supposed to be “different”.  Great job.

Lyrically, the bridge is a disaster.  What has “mummified” got to do with the Big Bang???  The metaphor, which is so wonderfully maintained in the verses and chorus, is destroyed by this bridge.  Someone just mailed this one in without checking in with the rest of the team.

Why would Matt Dusk be interested in this song???

Because it’s a crooner song.

It’s got a strong groove.

It’s sparse on words. This allows the crooner to work with phrasing (aka crooning).

The way I hear it, the main line(s) of the chorus is two bars (x3), structured as:

1 1& 2 2& the 3 big 4 big 1 BANG 2 3 4

(Repeat 2X.  See my previous post)

Actually the chorus lyric is

The big big

bang
The reason I’m alive
When all the stars collide
In this universe inside
The big big bang
(rests / whistling)
The big big bang, the big big bang.

1 2 2& The 3 big 4 big

1 bang 2 2& The 3 reason 4 I’m a-
1 -live 2 When 3 all the 4 stars col-
1 -lide 2 2& In this 3 uni- 4 -verse in-
1 -side 2 2& The 3 big 4 big
1 bang 2 3 4
1 2 2&The 3 big 4 big
1 bang, 2& the 3 big 4 big
1 bang. 2 3 (lead-in to next verse) 4

Lyrically, this is just amazing stuff.

1 and 3 are the strong beats of a 4/4 bar (3 a little less than 1).

Bang falls on 1.

Reason falls on 3.

(A)live falls on 1.

All falls on 3.

(Col)lide falls on 1.

Uni(verse) falls on 3.

(In)side falls on 1.

Big falls on 3.

Bang falls on 1.

Big falls on 3.

Bang falls on 1.

If you buy into my “hearing” of the phrasing of the chorus, you will note that the lyrical phrases are draped over the musical phrases in an off-kilter manner.  The lyric phrases start in the middle of the bar and “end”, with a bang, on the downbeat of the next bar.  The whole thing wants to keep rollling forward as if drawn by gravity.  This falling-forward pattern is maintained throughout the chorus, then comes to a stop with the last line.

As far as I can tell, not one word is mis-set in this song.

We’re talking Leonard Cohen country, here.

A crooner would simply love this.

Just add a rest here or there and it becomes a “stylized” song.

At first listen, I hated this song, but now I’m in “jaw meet floor” territory.

I’m beginning to “get” why 8 co-writers might be better than 2…

And I haven’t even started to analyze why the whistling bit fits in so well…

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One response to “Analysis: The Big Bang

  1. Pingback: Week 1, 2015 – SAttaC Bang! | guitarvydas·

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