Track Review: Bastille, ‘Good Grief’
Infectious! That’s the best way to describe Bastille’s new single, “Good Grief.” There is absolutely nothing to make you say good grief about “Good Grief” because it’s great. No, it’s not great for the frontman Dan Smith because it’s a breakup song, but for us music lovers of the world, it’s triumphant. Why is “Good Grief” so effective? It features the formula for success. But rather than just “saying” that “Good Grief” has a formula, let’s break that formula down, shall we?
First, “Good Grief” is exceptionally produced. Following an attention-getting introduction (“So, what would you little maniacs like to do first?”), a pop-driven, danceable groove kicks in. With the groove initiated, from there, “Good Grief” is blessed with ostinato piano, a dash of synths, and the usual pop bag of tricks. The results, music that is memorable in itself, and that’s not considering the lyrical content.
Another brilliant characteristic of the winning formula? Falsetto! Whether you want to admit it or not, falsetto can truly elevate a song, and not just merely raising the pitch. Thank about it – how many great songs have the “head voice” going on? Lyrics “Watching through my fingers” never sounded better thanks to the “f-word” – and we don’t mean FU—…you catch the drift!
“Good Grief” isn’t all high notes though – the song actually resides in the middle register for most of its duration. That said, the sparing use of falsetto only amplifies its greatness. But let’s move on to the chorus which is simple, but plays a gargantuan role in the infectiousness. “Every minute and every hour / I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more,” frontman Dan Smith sings. He continues on singing, “Every stumble and each misfire / I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more.” Uncomplicated, yet relatable – part of the formula people!
Yes, we could go on and on about “Good Grief” and break it down further, but this is a track review – not an album review. Furthermore, we won’t waste any more time that could be spent listening to “Good Grief” yourselves. A winner? Methinks – better yet – We-thinks!
Bastille • ‘Good Grief’ • Virgin • Released: 6.17.16