Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Try a Little Tenderness"

Let's celebrate! Let's testify! Hold your lighters in the air, sway to the quiet, contemplative intro. Hear the beat gently walk round the corner and watch it come up to stand in front of you, hips twitching, a knowing smile on its face as it watches you slowly, inevitably, become helplessly hooked by this supreme moment of soul.
This is one of those songs that are utterly impossible to ignore, to skate over. It demands your attention, it co-opts your heart and drafts your hips until you're singing along at maximum volume, waving, not drowning. As with so many other great soul songs it's about redemption, affirmation, acknowledgement of a higher power. It's a moment for diving head-first into the mystery of love and maybe, just maybe if you're lucky, understanding a few things. It says "yes, men and women are different but really, we're the same." It's one of those impossible conundrums, like, how did Otis Redding get the beat to be so insistent yet so modest? How did he know when to let that utter cacophony loose half-way through the song and push the whole thing to another plane? How did he know that the second half of the song could be one long chorus, repeated over and over but more powerfully each time? And that we'd love it?

1 comment:

michael said...

A classic. Enough to turn you to religion!