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Monday Music: Coursework soundtrack

1 Mar 10 | Re: Pavlovian song effect

In a fair world, this week’s track would be legendary. It’s I’m So Lonely by Cast.

There are three tiers of Britpop bands. At the top are the ones who are well remembered by everyone and had a lasting effect on music - probably only Blur, Oasis and maybe Pulp. Then there are the ones who had a couple of big hits, but only really maintained a niche following after the initial buzz died down, like the Bluetones, Supergrass and Ash if you count them as Britpop. And finally you have groups who might have been big at the time, but who would probably take most people a few seconds to remember at all if you mentioned them today: hello Shed Seven, Ocean Colour Scene and Kula Shaker.

What are Cast doing in the bottom group?

Cast were brilliant. Simply put, John Power wrote some of the best songs of the 1990s, and if you listen to I’m So Lonely on We7 you will surely see that this is an accurate statement. The song is a beautiful tour de force of restrained longing, a dignified declaration of love, and a masterpiece of building orchestration set against eloquently flawed vocal sincerity. Sure, there isn’t a lot new about it, but if it’s unoriginal, why is it the guitar figure from this particular song that sticks in my mind? It’s amazing as well how many people, when you play that artfully composed introductory figure on the guitar, recognise it but can’t quite place where it came from.

It must have made an impression on me when it first came out because I can’t hear it without seeing a particular piece of GCSE art coursework I did for my mock exam. Ideal song for the repeat button, clearly.

Posted by ERIC FOREMAN at 19:04

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