SONG CLUB REVIEW: “Bound to You” by Jocelyn & Lisa
(This post is based on the script Mark David Stallard wrote for The Invisible Song Club live show.)
Buy the song https://music.apple.com/us/album/bound-to-you-single/692391416
The song starts with a slow jazz bass, almost plodding along, and a simple drum arrangement emphasising the first and third beats. An electric guitar hits the chord on the third beat, clear and short, leaving a little in the reverb to fade. We are left in no doubt that there is something emotional coming.
The verse continues over the same instrumental arrangement as the intro, but with the introduction of a piano playing single chords. The solo vocalist comes in and her voice cracks slightly at the start. We instantly get the emotion we were expecting. The vocals continue with short, clear phrases that descend, leading us, showing us the sadness in the song, rather than the lyric just telling us. The verse seems to resolve the tension halfway through, and then repeats and resolves again at the end. But it doesn’t really feel that resolved. The tune, rather than ending on the root note, actually ends an octave lower. While this completes the tension and provide resolution, it doesn’t fully satisfy.
Backing vocalists join in half-way through the chorus with “aah ooo” on the 1st beat, in a kind of subdued doo wop. This unexpectedly emphasizes the guitar chord played on the 3rd beat, and brings out the rhythm of the instrumentation, sparce though it is.
The chorus starts without any fanfare. The backing vocals sing and hold “ooo” throughout. The rhythm guitar lets the chord ring, where as in the verse it was just a sing beat, now it hangs clear in the air. With these two small changes, the song now changes completely. (I couldn’t tell if the piano picked up as well.) It feels “full”, energy has increased. The melody now, instead of short staccato phrases of the verse now flows up and down in a fairly catchy and somewhat familiar way. But it is this familiarity of the melody that brings with it some warmth, and a feeling that a more obscure or “original” phrase might not achieve.
The beginning of the chorus reminded me of Sheena Easton’s Morning Train— with the swing-like ascending and descending melody.
Unlike the verse, the chorus fully resolves back to the root halfway through. Then at the end of the chorus, the singer adds a flourish, the voice climbing higher, adding a little more tension before falling back to the root, adding to the satisfaction.
The verse and chorus repeat. The clear emotional vocals expand occasionally on the melody in a few places, as the song progresses--Particularly during the instrumental break.
The instrumentation stops, leaving the solo voice to lament “I should have fallen out of love with you by now”. And when the instrumentation comes back, the sound is bigger and with more emotion than ever.
The song ends after a repeated chorus. As the last words is sung, a well-placed solo chord on the piano rings out. Adding a perfect full-stop to the end of the song.
The lyrics are fairly straight forward. The phrase mentioned earlier “I should have fallen out of love with you by now”, puts the lyrics in a nutshell. But I really like the opening line, that perfectly sets up the rest of the song by cleverly giving us sense of time.
“Last time you came around my hair was chocolate brown. Guess it´s been that long”
I listened to this song before writing my review,dozens of times. Far more than I think I have listened to any other song that I’ve reviewed on this show. It is infectious, catchy, and...dare I say...addictive.
This song deserves to be a modern-day jazz standard. And it seems as if it were written personally for Michael Buble. Who, I’m sure, would do this song proud.
-- Mark David Stallard