If I like a song or a part of a song, I often do an involuntary laugh. Or sometimes I make a noise like my voicebox has been cut out halfway through a word.
I did that with Dancing Alone by Jettee (Jett Foreman).
After a sneaky four-second wait, the intro instantly induces a head-bop, but at 52 seconds, there is a big step up. Whether you’re listening in the car, with headphones, or with studio monitors, you’ll feel it.
If a song makes you feel something, it has done its job.
What it makes you feel is down to the individual. Cattle Decapitation might give you a headache and make you feel angry, but for me, they’re a band that makes me feel better when rage hits.
Where Jettee’s three minutes and forty-five seconds of excellent songwriting stands apart, is that no matter who you are, no matter what day you’ve had, it will make you feel good.
It’s like a musical version of a rainbow. Everyone feels better after seeing a rainbow.
It’s catharsis. When your partner tells you, “It’s not you, it’s me” you can put this song on, and maybe you’ll feel better.
Heartbreak appears to be a recurring theme for Jettee. His song “Can We Be The Ocean?” seemed to offer up hope for reconciliation. That the space between two people could be navigated, and perhaps that relationship can go on.
This song is a different story.
The deed is done, the die is cast, and the Tinder profile needs a polish. So put a song on and deal with it.
I don’t know how to feel.
When our song turns on
Okay, that’s not all that clear. As I touched on in my review of his “Can We Be The Ocean?” his lyrics are both simple and abstract.
Your feet, killing armies of insects
But you’re only smashing bugs with your toes
Maybe we’re inanimate objects
Just going where we’re told
There’s a lot of imagery in that second verse, and on first listen, you may be wondering what the hell he’s on about. Let’s say that someone is jumping around an ant-riddled bathroom and that fate sometimes puts two people in different directions whether they like it or not.
At least that’s what I think. And a song that makes you think and feel is doing quite well. But it’s still got more tricks up its sleeve.
Bear with me.
MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” is at the exact tempo as ABBA’s Dancing Queen, and even has the main piano line from that same song hidden deep in the mix.
To my knowledge, Dancing Alone doesn’t have that kind of layering, but there’s an MGMT vibe to the bridge, and it rounds the song off brilliantly.
Just like that point at 52 seconds, when the bridge finishes and the chorus kicks in, you feel it. You can imagine yourself jumping around, TV remote in hand singing, the other arm in the air swatting away dust.
You can imagine yourself dancing alone, feeling better.
Whether you make an involuntary noise is up to you.