SONG CLUB REVIEW: "The Spark" by William Prince
(This post is based on the script Mark David Stallard wrotefor The Invisible Song Club live show.)
"The Spark" is a smooth heartfelt and emotional country ballad, that can easily be listened to on repeat.
All instruments come in at once, with the violins playing a simple melody over the chords. The drums and piano are laid back, as is all the instrumentation.
The male vocal comes in and we’re gripped. The melody is straight forward. It meanders up and down, not really climbing in energy or tone to create much tension, but then never fully releases it either. It is just enough to keep us paying attention.
The song is sung without urgency. The singer approaches this gently, as other songs and singers might sing about this the subject far more aggressively. But instead, it comes across leaving us filled with gentle assurance.
The chorus comes in, swelling slightly, but doesn’t crescendo. As a similar melody is sung, it does reach higher and does it make an effort to resolve at the end of the verse. But the lyrics seem to add more toward the resolution of tension than the melody.
“When the ashes of lost love make it hard to breathe
My love if we burn would you burn right next to me?”
The second verse is much shorter, and reflects the melody from the 2nd half of the first verse. The vocals seems to react differently, giving it a different feel. Then the chorus comes back. This time the chorus seems to have more impact. Possibility, because we’re familiar with the lyric, but definitely because the subtle melody now seems more familiar. The resolution at the end of the second chorus just seems to have more impact.
Then the next round of verses come in, but they’re different. Like a middle 8, but it doesn’t sound out like one. For a start it’s far more than 8 bars long. It’s quite similar to the chorus in many regards. The meter is a bit different, the melody climbs higher along with the energy in the voice, the violins swell, but only just noticeably. Then, when the melody resolves, we feel the release. It’s gentle, subtle, but it’s there.
The final chorus slows things down, and sets up the conclusion. The lyrics then come to the forefront, if they weren’t already. But we get to the conclusion.
And is it safe to say you are
Babe, you’re the flame the fire but most of all you’re the spark
If country ever had a crooner, William Prince is certainlyone of them. With risk of losing the younger audience, this is how I wouldimagine Perry Como might have sounded if he had been a bass.
-- Mark David Stallard