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Why I could never be a real songwriter… May 2, 2010

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, Keane, Music, Phil Collins, Todd Rundgren, Uncategorized, Yes.
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With my May 22 wedding date fast approaching and spare time at a minimum these days, I decided to take advantage of some personal time yesterday and spent a couple of hours with my keyboard and MacBook to see if I could get the creative juices flowing again.

I am a big fan of the group Keane and love their new single “Stop for a Minute” (featuring K’naan). Since that song has been in my head lately, the song I tried writing yesterday started off with a Keane-like feel. However, what transpired over the next couple of hours showed why I could never be a real songwriter.

The song started with a simple piano part and a lyrical hook of “hit the ground running” immediately popped into my mind…so that became the working title. The rest of the foundation came quite easily — especially since I borrowed some bits from some aborted musical ideas from my past — and it did actually have a bit of that Keane flavor to it.

But then I decided to add a drum intro and it wound up being a nod to the intro to the song “Hold On” by Yes…so that introduced bit of my prog-rock influences.

And then I thought, “You know what? This needs horns.” So that brought my Phil Collins influence into the mix.

Finally, and this is really my big weakness as a songwriter/arranger, I decided to add some strings…because most of my songs inevitably end up with strings to cover up my lack of skill as a keyboard player.

And guess what my simple, little Keane-like pop tune ended up sounding like…the theme song to an action TV series from the 80s. Just take a listen and tell me you don’t envision cheesy title cards and graphics over actors and actresses with big hair and poofy clothes with forced smiles in ridiculous situations.

I really need to learn how to self-edit.

Hit the Ground Running (4:43)

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