Wednesday, March 9, 2016

“Help Yourself” by Bryde - A Song Review

     Some songs lend themselves well to recognizing skills that are typically overlooked. “Help Yourself” is a song that lends itself well to appreciating the benefits of skillful arrangement.
     Starting with an oversimplification that is subject to attack, let’s use definitions that are based on time. “Arrangement” occurs during preparation, “recording” occurs while the song components (voice and instruments) are being manipulated, and “mixing” occurs to a combination of the recorded song components.
    Certainly, the mixing in Bryde’s “Help Yourself” is worthy of praise, but it’s the arrangement that excels. There is a coordination of dynamics. That is, the emotions of the lyrics are effectively emphasized by the inflections in Bryde’s voice and, more impressively, by the dynamics of the instruments. Many of the contributions of the instruments in emphasizing or playing to the emotion are easily taken for granted, but shouldn’t be. Just as one example, at the 1;28 mark, the waning guitar note assists the transition from forceful vocalization to a less anxious attitude. Other contributions have a more recognizable and immediate impact on the listener, such as the use of the percussion in the quick crescendo that occurs at 0:48.
     Bryde is based in Brixton, UK. Her "other name" is Sarah Howells.
    “Help Yourself” - Produced by Jolyon Thomas. Written & performed by Bryde.


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