Overpuddinging the egg – More is even more!
Originally I was going to post a thing about how we all have too many synths to make music with, even bought apps we’ve still never used – the intention being one day they’ll all come together to contribute their component parts to form a glorious whole. I was going to ask if we could pick out examples of actual hit songs that are have the bare minimum in their production, leaving only the composition to shine through? Then I realised this is a huge area with nothing to point to. People would post acapella, to collapse the argument. People would post minimal techno (wait, I said hit songs! Would someone whistle your techno?). And then there’s the whole thing of live performances having to by nature be stripped down to make it work. Especially with a good three-piece band, like The Police or The Jam, etc.
Let’s therefore go the opposite way. Which songs — actual hits, people bought, etc — are in not only your opinion but the conclusive consensus of every sane person alive, good proper actual compositions, good songs, good playing and programming, etc, but really, could have been achieved with half the stuff in there! Which releases are so overinstrumented and overproduced that it’s embarassing it even gets accepted. Which hits have too much stuff in there.
Mainly, I’m thinking that an amateur music composer falls into the trap of putting too much stuff in there, every time, because we can and we think that’s what it takes to make a proper professional song. If we put a tenth of what we do in there — five tracks on the sequencer instead of fifty, for example — would it really be a pathetic substandard song (maybe) or would it stand and shine as a recognisable germ of a communication (also maybe)? I think we’re too often afraid to stop, we keep going, despite that we’d actually finished long ago.
Which actual songs out there are like that? But, to qualify, also suggest what about the result should have been left on the cutting room floor.