JP Ruggieri’s “The Meaning” is a mellow-but-grooving hot take with a vintage sound that keeps the ball rolling from start to finish.
The production of this piece is excellent, and every aspect of its composition shines as you are guided through the vocal and guitar skill of JP Ruggieri, backed up by Karlie Bruce on vocals, Evan Pazner on drums, and Micheal Bellar’s keys, all to the soulful backdrop of Jordan Scannella’s bass. and The first elements of this track that you’ll notice are a driving kick/rimshot combo, and smooth, peppy arpeggiated guitar line that keeps a solid jam going throughout the entirety of the piece. The second notable arrival to the piece are Ruggieri’s vocals, and they glide together with the rest of the ensemble beautifully.
When Ruggieri’s lyrics take hold, they enchant and entertain with clever figurativeness and a familiar, easygoing pace that makes this track perfect for leaving on repeat during a party or car ride. What I love about this piece is the poppy accessibility of the music, but the retention of that feeling of genuine originality.
When the vox track comes in, it does so with a thoughtful reflection about life, relationships, and the unfinished obligations that linger in the mind after they’ve been left untouched for a while.
I’m a book of beginnings,
That always sits on the shelf
Every thought that I ever had
Was written by somebody else.
Ruggieri’ contemplative tone matches the plodding, mellow gallop of the instrumental nicely, as he sings about wasted potential and searching for originality. I really dig the extended metaphor of the bookshelf, and being full of ideas all inspired by other writers, and feeling that sense of unfulfillment when realizing that everything you’ve made is a reflection of someone else’s work.
I keep searching for reasons,
I keep searching for clues.
I shed my skin straight down to my bones
So I would have nothing to lose.
I love the concise and poetic way this verse speaks to wanting to dig down and find the true meaning and substance of your work within yourself. Only after getting rid of our exterior façade and getting down to the core of our nature can we really find what it is that makes us uniquely creative in our own right. The chorus brings in Karlie Bruce’s voice for a soothing rock harmony, starting with a rousing call to action: “Let’s get down to the meaning,” and repeating its ending: “If you can’t be the one I need now, then I don’t want you here anymore”
This song begs to be taken straight to the point, and after the first chorus, we are. An artful instrumental interlude follows, channelling inspiration from classic blues and rock and roll, then:
you’re as clear as a window,
You stretch yourself too thin.
I can’t tell where it is that you end, and where it is you begin.
Every wall that surrounds me, everything that I do.
I took a walk up inside of my head, the only thing I found there was you
Exquisite. Ruggieri pushes that love might be the answer or the only real source of true inspiration by bringing in the concept of longing for someone else.
This verse asks whether or not the truth lies in unravelling the mystery of attachment to others, and trying to decode the ins and outs of relationships. After our last chorus, Ruggieri guides us back to another bluesy refrain with a sweet, soulful solo on the guitar and a satisfying, climactic finish that has me wanting to hit play again and again.