SONG CLUB REVIEW: “Move It” by Sunset Sweatshop
(This post is based on the script Mark David Stallard wrote for The Invisible Song Club live show.)
When I heard this song for the first time, I wasn’t even half-way through when I knew that this song had already made my selection for the show.
It’s an infectious song, that is fun, upbeat and above all has no hidden or deep message. The instrumentation, the performances, the lyrics are just colourful, in-your-face fun.
The song starts with the bass guitar snaping out a catchy, rhythmic riff. A keyboard chimes in, a blues organ playing the chords in background. The drums come in with a very defined, yet simple lead-in break, and settles quicky into complementary rhythm all it’s own. The beat screams “get up and dance” before a single word is sung.
As the vocals start, the drums and keyboard back off almost completely, and a clean electric guitar comes forward and strums a subtle funky rhythm. The vocal has a warm rough quality, that fits in perfectly with the mix of rhythms and instruments. The verse noticeably is lower energy than the introduction.
The melody during the first line of the verse is slow and simple, and then becomes quick and melodic. But leaves us hanging. It builds some expectation as the melody is repeated, it comes down, it almost resolves but leaves us wanting. The rest of the verse does a variation of the same thing. We know something big is coming, but ...
The verse ends with the vocalist singing “da-da-da-da”. This seems to play the role of an instrumental crescendo; when you might expect the drums to play that beat and the volume and energy of the whole instrumentation and vocal performance to rise. Instead, emphasis is given to the rhythm of the voice. This actually adds to the charm of the song -- a cheeky way to lead us into an energy filled chorus. I don’t know how much of that was intentional in the writing and production of the song, but it works.
The chorus comes in softly for the first bar, but quickly provides its own partial crescendo which lasts throughout the whole chorus. We are then rewarded by a return to the rhythmic introduction, which is no surprise, was really a fragment of the chorus. The vocals almost chant out the words, with the rhythm being, I would say, more important that the melody. I can almost hear the audience singing along to this during a live show.
This is followed by a fun instrumental break, which features all instruments having fun—again focusing on the rhythm rather than the melody. The chorus is repeated and then we get a much appreciated bluesy-jazzy guitar solo.
I want to point out that the vocals never fully resolve the melody. It stops a few steps short. Somewhat satisfying but, not fully. The whole time we’re being pulled into in, expecting to come back to the root and feel the resolution. But instead, we are kept there by the infectiousness of the rhythm.
It isn’t until the final beat, that the song fully resolves back to the root. The vocals sing the chorus as it has the whole way through but still leave us hanging--almost. As one the band plays the final chord, the root chord. And it is this that finally provides us with a very satisfying conclusionary resolution.
There’s not much to say about the lyrics. They are simple, heartfelt, and fun. They really only serve one purpose, which is to remind us this is a song you must dance to. Not that we need to be reminded.
I bet you can’t listen to this song without smiling. And I bet most of you who do Listen to this song dance along to it too, even if that is just nodding your head and wiggling to it while sitting your chair.
-- Mark David Stallard