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Sing ’it > Tips | Wenke

A great song with great lyrics: Tim Lester from Bicycle Thief suggests ...

Tim Lester - 2011-09-07


“Mr Brightside” – The Killers.

Good songwriting is common; there is a formula. There are great songs everywhere (just turn on the radio). But it’s a certain personality and energy of a song and its ability to draw listeners in that make it exceptional in such a way that it has the same effect years later. I heard a quote from a fellow musician saying that a good song is like a good building. You have the design, the foundation, different rooms and doors, and when it’s done it should look good, feel good, and be able to stand the test of time.

When I attended the Music Exchange conference last year, one of the producers who was speaking about recording contracts spoke about what he looks for first in a song. The “hook”, melody, melody, melody. Melody is key. Melody is primary. Then rhythm. Then harmony. But have a strong melody and you can’t go wrong. 

There are so many songs out there to choose from. From all different genres. And it’s hard to give you one example out of literally millions.

But one that definitely stands out for me is “Mr Brightside”, by The Killers. Structurally it’s very simple and very straightforward. But the melody of that chorus is just so iconic, and everyone knows it. As soon as people hear those first few guitar notes in the intro the dance floor becomes backed and hundreds of people are singing that chorus to one another. Louder than the club sound systems. It’s a song that characterises my generation, class of 2006 … No one can’t get caught up in that song. It’s so hard not to, the energy and personality just suck you in, make you want to move and sing. And it will still be a great song in ten years’ time. There are so many hooks and melodies in that song. Every part has its own catchy line. It’s brilliant.