SONG CLUB REVIEW: “Soothing Love” by Tika
(This post is based on the script Mark David Stallard wrote for The Invisible Song Club live show.)
“Soothing Love” starts with an electric piano, or synth, which hangs in the air. The melody of the intro is unassuming. Not a catchy riff, but a succession of notes which are pleasant and soft, leading us into the song and providing an idea of what is to come.
As the vocals begin, so does the percussion, which sounds like electronic percussion common in RnB music. In this song the percussion is used sparingly, with some well-placed clicks and electronic snare drum strikes which echo and mechanically fade. There are some soft shakers as well, that add to the dreamy, ambient atmosphere.
The vocals are breathy, and smooth. Clear in the melody, but some of the words were hard to make out. But as I wrote them down, I began to realize the lyrics are not that important. That is, they are not telling a story, rather they are telling how the singer feels. For the vocal performance, there are no gaps in vocals. She only stops singing to take a breath. The lyrics, like the melody, flows from one thought to the next, meandering a bit, and then repeating.
About halfway through the song a second voice comes in, singing around the main melody, intentionally out of sync with the main voice. This adds to the dreamy atmosphere and provides a little escalation in the song. The song ends as it should, softly, with the second voice continuing for a few seconds, before the echoes fade.
This song expresses a lot of emotion, which it seems is deep and personal, though not revealing.
This is not a regular song with a regular structure. In many ways this song is devoid of structure. There is no obvious verse, no chorus, no middle 8, at least none that were clearly identifiable.
There is some repetition in the lyrics and melody, the second time through they might change slightly. If there is a structure to this song, I would say there is a first half and a second half. But then, it doesn’t really need a recognizable structure. This is a song about an emotion, a connection with a lover. And as such, it doesn’t need a structure. The melody, and lyrics, as well the arrangement become their own ambient creation.
A fine piece, which leaves me wanting more.
-- Mark David Stallard