The first inductee into the ‘Writing Garbage’ music hall of fame is Jason Derulo’s Cheyenne. Let’s go over the elements of what has to come together to make this recording worthy of attention.
The songwriting is impeccable. The topic is deep (in love while in love) and the lyrics are efficient. Any repeated lyrical callouts only reinforce the emotionally important details of the song.
The vocal performance is great. Inflections convey the emotion perfectly without overkill, and great use of vocal technique contrast between sections. Listen to how Jason moves between falsetto and chest voicing through the track. It keeps the track interesting and really conveys the distress of Jason’s “situation”.
And the production blows me away. It is a phenomenal combination of classic 70s/80s musical elements with modern production technique. That juicy bass line reminds me of dance records of 30 years ago yet it has a detail and richness that now seems missing from those older recordings. It has that space disco feel, which IMO started regaining popularity with Lady Gaga’s Do What U Want, yet the idea has been taken further and into a different direction production wise. The use of a wood block, funk guitars, disco synth stabs. LOVE IT.
And most important of all the criteria is that the song encapsulates ‘a moment’ in time. All the elements come together to deliver an emotion that’s deep and resonates. When I am going through my music collection 30 years from now, the second I hear this song I will think of Spring 2015 and whatever emotions/memories that time period held for me.
THANK YOU to everyone who came together to make that an extraordinary record.