Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mike Stock about Pop Songs

...Yet Rotem, whose repertoire stretches from the credible (Rihanna's SOS) to the criminal (Paris Hilton), has another life: playing in jazz quartets. He says his classical and jazz grounding help him find the precise chord progressions that "get inside people's heads" while sounding deceptively simple. It's a point Stock is keen to pursue. "Anyone who thinks Kylie Minogue's I Should Be So Lucky is easy should try to play it," he says of the SAW number. "It's in four keys, all of them really awkward, and you can't even strum it unless you're a really good musician.".

As for lyrics, Stock believes they should be "studiedly simple, not simple". Rotem aims for the subjects that most appeal to pop consumers: "Love, excitement, nostalgia, sexuality. But the hook has to be familiar without being cliched." He mentions Umbrella, Rihanna's hit. "It's about love: 'You can stand under my umbrella.'"

Even the experts have flops, though. Rotem refuses to discuss his Cheetah Girls song (straight in at No 122), while Stock remembers a disastrous hook-up with the metal band Judas Priest on a (sadly unreleased) version of Diana Ross's You Are Everything. "It was like working with Spinal Tap", he sniggers. "You are everything – KERRANG!".

Still, the hit-makers do seem to have the last laugh. Stock spent "years defending" I Should Be So Lucky... [read the full article]

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