Posts Tagged ‘Ben Lee


Constancy in Cigarettes

Last post I discussed “contrast” and now for this post I’ll point out the use of “constancy” or maintaining a certain rhythm throughout a song. The song I’m picking for an example is Ben Lee’s “Cigarettes will kill you“, just because I like the song and the whole album of his.

The use of constancy in the song isn’t an obvious one but adds to the unity of the song and can give a “lulling” effect for want of a better term, and it’s in the drum track that continues on behind both the melody and chorus. There’s only one time this varies and that’s towards the end, where the accompanying bass and harmony drop out and the drum track is put through an effect.

Apart fromĀ  that I also like the arrangements in the song, with the use of the piano riff to introduce the song, and then coming back in the chorus. In fact there seems to be quite a variety of instruments for the arrangement, including acoustic guitar and I think a xylophone and some other sound but I can’t put my finger on it -like a clavichord or something.

I did hear that much of the album was produced with computer rather than “real” instruments but the arrangements are very well done. I should mention that this was the song on the radio that got me into Ben Lee in the first place.

So, if you have a song with a basic structure -verse, chord, middle-eight etc, but it seems to lack unity or something, you could try putting a rhythm or motive that underlies the song all the way through. This can create natural contrasts with the difference between the chorus and the verse for example.