There Ain't Love In Your Heart

September 6, 2010 12:00 PM

Country Western waltz ballad. Featuring faux-pedal steel and more twang than I usually evidence.

More songfightery; after three weeks in a row of big loud rushed garage rock entries, this is kind of an about face, so I'm curious what the folks over there will make of this.

I don't really listen to mainstream country on purpose; it's never really grabbed me on any lasting level. That said, I've for a while now admired the solid-as-shit production that goes into a lot of it, and the blatantly playful/mischievous wordplay and hookiness in a lot of that stuff is fun to chew on even when it treads into the realm of the hackneyed.

So this is a shot at sort of faking some of that up. The basic sort of ambling waltz stuff with guitar and banjo and bass was straightforward, but figuring out what to do on drums was weird for me because I've never gone for this feel before. Whole thing feels a little bit at odds with itself as a result, like it doesn't quite click together, but that's a perennial problem for me with rhythm section stuff.

As for the guitar stuff, I had this idea that I could cobble together a pedal steel sound by going at my heavy-strung Casino with a glass slide, which, well, if I already knew my way around a pedal steel it'd have been easier to know what to emulate. As it is I think I got some decent moments of simulation, with two overdubbed single-string slide parts, but it's rougher and frettier than a nice slick gliding pedal should sound and doesn't really have the bright sparkling slick-as-shit tone that I'd hoped for.

And the country twang on the vocals is actually toned way down from my scratch vox tracks. It still feels a little heavy-handed to me, but the first take was basically a cartoon.

posted by cortex (6 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite


I put myself right on the line
Cross my t's and dot my i's
But somehow you say you can't sign
And darlin I can't believe why

You're worried about things that you heard
Well, people talk but that don't make it true
I been straight word after word
But bent is how it comes off to you

If the rumor is stronger
than the look in my eyes
If the truth can't stand up to
some other man's lies
If you're gonna doubt me
right from the start
Darling there ain't love in your heart

Maybe I'm stuck being mistook
If being mistaken is what you need
I been a wide open book
That you can't be bothered to read

There's ain't no shame
In caution
But your paranoia's
Costing us
Everything we got

posted by cortex at 12:04 PM on September 6, 2010

I have an odd relationship with mainstream pop country - I, too, appreciate the impeccable production and the very solid, reliable formulas they all follow. It's also sort of nice to have an entire genre that has lyrics that are never impenetrable, always very straightforward. I usually keep my car radio tuned to the local pop country station because of how reliable it is, how fun it is to sing along, and blast at high volumes late at night with the windows down.

But, they really lack a lot of character, which is what bothers me. They're not a ton of soul there, although I swear that Taylor Swift has both of those sometimes. They're churned out at ridiculous speeds, one after the other, built to be catchy and heavily-requested.

This tune of yours has a ton of character. Your voice has an edge, a warble that is not found on those tunes on the radio - your little 'imperfections' help this song really hit home. Great job.
posted by ORthey at 12:54 PM on September 6, 2010

What a difference from your other sounds. I have to say I like it a lot. The first time through the chorus is amazing.
posted by waviolet at 7:16 PM on September 6, 2010

The simulated pedal steel was very effective.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 11:06 PM on September 6, 2010

This is not contemporary pop country, this is rootsy-sounding Americana with a country edge, or a stylistic nod to the 'cosmic cowboy' music of Gram Parsons, NRPS, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, etc. Way cooler than contemporary pop country!
posted by bonefish at 12:28 AM on September 8, 2010

lovely. great singing. great everything really.
posted by peterkins at 3:36 AM on September 8, 2010

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