STREAM: Happiness by Sam Sparro
This is a soundtrack song. The kind of song meant to back a generally clichéd movie montage. Maybe a bad romantic comedy, where the protagonist finally tells off the significant other (the one that was so clearly an asshole), and as he or she (let’s just say he) struts off, “Happiness” starts playing. The house-y piano and funky bass slaps come in as the protagonist marches down the street. “I can see the sun coming up / and I need it.” Cue the montage: protagonist gets a new apartment, furnishes said apartment with varying degrees of success/comedy, updates the wardrobe, gets the big promotion, reconnects with the friends he scorned earlier in the film, etc. etc. Lyrically, melodically, emotionally, it’s as if the song was intentionally written for the next Katherine Heigl movie. I say this not to impugn the musical credibility of Sam Sparro’s work (despite having only one full-length currently available to those of us stateside, he’s probably my favorite dance/pop musician). It’s the opposite. I want to highlight his ability to do what pop does best: express a universal emotional moment in a very generic way that triggers an immediate and specific emotional response in the listener. And Sam Sparro is able to do just that, with all the trappings and hooks of traditional radio pop, but in a way that doesn’t feel quite so vapid. He does it with a little funk, a little soul, a little R&B, a little house. And all those things are built into the DNA of the song at the time it’s written, as opposed to the currently popular method of what I call post-construction conversion (taking an ‘artificially” constructed song and tacking on whatever production flourishes feel most “of the moment”). So I guess that’s just a really long way of saying that is my jam. It makes me want to grab a montage by the horns and just dance it out.
Chris aims to expose viewers to some of the most legit tunes of the times, peeling back the layers of what’s relevant in current music events, with up-to-date posts of new artists and releases. Living in Chicago, Chris manages his own blog Brown Bear Wants Honey dedicated to new music releases, clips of new musicians, and announcements of upcoming shows at cool venues.