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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Tired of Being Alone"

Al Green - Tired of Being Alone (1971)

I never would have guessed this song is so short.

Solid production lets the horns, guitars and backing vocals lift Al's voice up and never over-crowds him. The horns are awesome, and I want more every time I hear them, which is why I would be a bad producer for this song. I would over use them. The best part of this song is Al Green's vocals. Obvious you may say, but seriously listen to them. He does sound tired. His voice is stressed, strained, worried, scared, doubting and plaintive. This man is not just a member of the tired of being alone club, he's the damn president. The five second beat at 1:45 between "sometime I wonder" and "if you love me like you say you do" is the most honest moment in the song.

I was writing a comic script for a friend a few months ago, and I was covering the page with dialogue. He patiently pointed out to me that it was too wordy. I told him I was worried that I wasn't doing my fair share of the work. Then he told me this simple truth: just because you aren't writing dialogue, doesn't mean you are not writing. Jazz musicians will tell you that it's the notes you don't play that make a piece, and I am telling you right now, you may not hear Al Green during those 5 seconds, but don't ever think that he is not still singing his heart out.

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