Sunday, February 2, 2014

“The Station” by The Written Years – A Song Review

     Have you ever snickered when a commercial for a movie released in January or very early February makes the statement, “Best movie of the year!”? Is that a claim that it’s the best of the few movies released within the limited amount of time? Or is it a claim that at the end of the year, we will look back and recognize the movie as the best the year had to offer? Either way, it’s worthy of a good snicker.
     Well, we’re not snickering now. Partially because our claim is toned down and partially because the statement is not difficult to defend – “’The Station’ will belong in lists of the best songs of 2014 when the lists are assembled this December!”
     “The Station” is one of eight tracks on the self-titled album dropped on January 28 by The Written Years. The band is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The members of The Written Years are Wade Ouellet (vocals, guitar, and keys), Kodie Krogh (guitar and vocals), and Kane Enders (drums). The credits for “The Station” identify three other contributors to the song, namely Brian Dyck (bass), Ryan Worsely (percussion), and Kenny Bridges (vocals). And then there’s Ryan Morley, who performed the mastering.  
     “The Station” is somehow both simple and contemplative. For example, only an acoustic guitar is present from the start of the song (at 0:15) until the 0:55 mark, except for the three piano notes occurring at about one per second. The first of the three piano notes surfaces at the 0:31 second mark. Why just three notes, and why are they spaced apart? There are a number of other musical features that are to be discovered, which typically means that it’s a song that will withstand a test of time.
      Yes, the lyrics are simple, but they lead the listener to hope for a certain conclusion. And the energy build toward the end of the song leads to an anticipation of that certain conclusion. Then, the last six words of the song take the listener elsewhere. After the six words, the song energy trails off, like the vision of a train as it disappears from "the station."

     "The Station" by The Written Years

     Another strong song from the album is “Are You Okay?”

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