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Jesus, Can You Hear Me Now?


TTognaci

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Hi Tom,

 

The guitars are great. The overall vibe of the song is terrific.

 

I'm kind of a stickler for good lyric writing. You certainly seem to have that capability, but there's something a little distanced about the lyric. It's like you're talking about stuff, but you're not really feeling it. I mean, sometimes that feeling is there, but the general tendency is to talk about stuff instead of showing it, making us feel it.

 

A perfect example is "living out my life, carefree of mind."

 

I almost like "carefree of mind." I don't think it says what you want it to say, but I'll set that aside for now.

 

The thing where the lyric doesn't match the level of artistry in the guitars, the voice, etc., is this idea of "living out my life." First of all it's kind of boring. It doesn't really tell us anything about you. It's also kind of a cliche. A better cliche would be something like, "ramblin' down the road, carefree of mind." Or "roaring down the road," or "drifting through this world, carefree of mind" At least with those statements we get a picture of something concrete. We can choose what that image might be. A cowboy in a pickup truck, a guy in a super-charged old '69 Chevy, or a guy hitchhiking his way across Texas.

 

So I would go through the lyric, look for phrases that are generalized or abstract, and try to see if you can't make them more specific and concrete.

 

Also, watch for phrases that aren't sung the way they'd be spoken. If you're not familiar with this concept, it's called prosody. For instance, "I

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Welcome, Tom!

 

We're glad to have you with us. Take a look at the Guidelines/Resources sticky thread (at/near the top of the SW forum topic listing) if you haven't already. [i'm the SW forum mod so it falls to me to do the officious busybody thing. ;) ]

 

Now on to your song...

 

I like the title a lot. It already suggests the story with great economy. (And I got until this far, just now writing this, before I thought about the advertising echo of "can you hear me now," so hopefully we're moving past conflict with that media meme.) The tense suggests that he's tried reaching out before but couldn't connect, and it's in that sense of struggle between earthly concerns and the yearning for connection to the infinite that, I can't help but feel, elevates some of the most beloved religious songs. For me a song of struggle offers so much more depth and resonance than a simple song of praise. (Whether the subject is yearning for the infinite or the human.)

 

But... I couldn't help but feel like the crucial turning point of the song is somewhat missing... although there is the suggestion that the protagonist came to his faith over time. But that, really, makes it more interesting and -- potentially -- compelling, in that the typical 'saved-in-a-flash' song of redemption so often substitutes the spititual equivalent of a flash-bang grenade for thoughtful substance.

 

Obviously, while many new believers feel they've been so-saved, a real conversion or rebirth is typically something where the subject has been in spiritual longing or maybe torment for some time. The moment of conversion may coincide with the 'orgiastic' [pardon the psychological term] public ceremonial experience of renewal/conversoin, but for it to really take, I think it's clear that the person has to have been dealing with spiritual longing or despair for some time, that the wheels within wheels down inside them have been turning to bring them to the moment.

 

By exploring that process a little more, you might be able to take this song to a new level of insight and power. Now, for sure, maybe that's simply too much to ask of a given song, but it's through the longer for more profound expression that we move to greater artistry, I think. And, of course, these are big questions. ;)

 

All in all, I found this a moving, insightful, and sweet song that you can certainly be proud of as it is. :thu:

 

 

PS... one little thing... I was a little put off by the see/sea proximity as well by the refrain's candle-in-the-sea-of-darkness thing. Maybe I'm too visually minded, but I had this image of a candle floating on the ocean. You might sidestep both by substituting world for sea. ;)

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Hi LCK.....thanks sooo much for listening and commenting. Much food for thought! All very good and valid points...with exception to:

........when feeling depressed, it can sometimes really feel like we are all alone in a wilderness...or, alone in an empty sea.

 

See ya 'round.......-Tom

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Hi Blue2Blue............thanks for listening and posting!! Much thanks for your philosophical input.....a side not yet explored when writing. As none of my works have been published, I leave them open to be re-written when inspiration ignites. Thanks for the avenue to explore.

 

However....I do like the imagery with the fragility of a lone candle in a sea of darkness.

Thanks again! -Tom

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Dude!!!! I love this.

 

You know what you are doing - you structure a damn good song. I love the pointed purpose. The words. The whole deal. I wonder what you do for a living. I'd bet something like education or maybe advertising. But you got long hair? You can't work with your hands? Maybe run your own small business of some kind... or be lucky enough to hook up with an old lady who bring home the bacon... but this speaks record speaks to education and smarts of some kind... don't tell me. It doesn't matter anyway.

 

What you need to do is bring the intensity you bring when you are singing the third verse to the first verse. Open up firing on all cylinders from start to finish. I was like: Why is this cat singing soft when it first started? This is a solid tune. This tune is built strong enough to be shouted, yelped, whatever. Then you hit the end there- and I'm like: Yeah, he can bring the heat. Awesome.

 

Cause I love religious music - mostly old Gospel stuff. Mahalia Jackson. Soul Stirrers. HIghway QC's. The Larks. Golden Quartet. Whatever: I amp that stuff up heading into work to get me in the right set of mind - it tells me, Singing about the lord: You gotta bring the PASSION - those jokers don't mess around. You gotta be feeling it.

 

So being pointed: Your voice sounds weak when you sing soft like you do at the beginning. So you need to either sing really hard from the start and just sell it on guts - or spend a lot of time practicing singing so your voice sounds amazing even when you are not singing that hard. What sells it at the end is the emotion of you pushing to sing hard. I'm guessing you don't have that much time to work on your voice seeing the picture of you with the young kid there - so just slam it out the gate. You write a real good song - so just sell it.

 

But I like your stuff an awful lot. This is real good stuff - the guitar work the precision of the recording. I Love the theme - singing about faith and Jesus. I love it.

 

I love this song. Awesome!!!

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Anyway you can express yourself, share what you feel is great. And you did it. Agree or disagree with the theme I guess is personal. Beautiful song, I enjoyed it. Too give lyrical input would require more

listen's and I will surely add anything I can. I do however wish there was more levy with subject material. I would only hope that certain forum guidelines are not so rigid that unless you are trying to shove your

belief system down someone's throat and saying you are going to hell or if you do/don't etc. .What if I wrote a song about Obama or Rush, who cares. Listeners keep an open mind, reject what they don't find appealing.

Hell I was a Cosmetologist for many years. Knew what to say and not etc.

If someone Islamic wanted to share lyrics based on his belief system, equal air time but if I am in the wrong place, so be it

I say all of this because songs are songs. They can inspire you, they can escape your notice, they have an on and off button.

If I am out place with what I shared, then I guess blue2blue might give me the boot.....OR Perhaps I don't quite get were the line is crossed.

Supposed to be a Songwriters forum, focus on the song and not production, yet that happens many times to be addressed.

I know this is place to gather and appreciate what other's might suggest, but I do have to admit it get's confusing at times

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Anyway you can express yourself, share what you feel is great. And you did it. Agree or disagree with the theme I guess is personal. Beautiful song, I enjoyed it. Too give lyrical input would require more

listen's and I will surely add anything I can. I do however wish there was more levy with subject material. I would only hope that certain forum guidelines are not so rigid that unless you are trying to shove your

belief system down someone's throat and saying you are going to hell or if you do/don't etc. .What if I wrote a song about Obama or Rush, who cares. Listeners keep an open mind, reject what they don't find appealing.

Hell I was a Cosmetologist for many years. Knew what to say and not etc.

If someone Islamic wanted to share lyrics based on his belief system, equal air time but if I am in the wrong place, so be it

I say all of this because songs are songs. They can inspire you, they can escape your notice, they have an on and off button.

If I am out place with what I shared, then I guess blue2blue might give me the boot.....OR Perhaps I don't quite get were the line is crossed.

Supposed to be a Songwriters forum, focus on the song and not production, yet that happens many times to be addressed.

I know this is place to gather and appreciate what other's might suggest, but I do have to admit it get's confusing at times

 

 

Hey there Mahuska...........my faith is about appreciation.....I leave the preaching to others!

I am also one who doesn't enjoy debating theology......for me, it's personal.

So glad you liked the song....hope to see you around! -Tom

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