Monday, April 9, 2012

The Breakdown: A Strawberry Swing

By Charleco Scipio

Not many artists can mess with Coldplay's music and actually sound good. But if your Jay-Z or Frank Ocean diving stylishly into Cold waters is no problem. Jay-Z has to be the only rapper I could see doing any collaboration with Coldplay. They are a perfect match in the music realm. As for Frank Ocean, he was unexpected but amazing. Not only did he manage to not mess up a wonderful song but he also made it even more attractive to the ears.
Strawberry Swing-Music Video
The song Strawberry Swing was released on September 13 as the fifth single from Coldplay's Viva La Vida. A very upbeat song,  featuring Afro-Pop guitars thanks to Martin's time in Zimbabwe. The hand claps in the beginning are said to be Producer Brain Eno, Chris told MTV News. "If you listen very closely, you can hear him complaining about the tempo at the beginning of that song.". 'It's a bit faster..'
 A kind of joyous song, whose lyrics could mean a lot, or actually just be meaningless. It could be about freedom:

People moving all the time Inside a perfectly straight line Don't you wanna just curve away?

This could be talking about how people do what they see others do, act how they see others act, and say what they hear others say, not really thinking for themselves or forming their own opinions. The question is don't you want to be different and not like the rest of them? Don't you want to follow your own path? An interesting concept.

Now the sky could be blue, I don't mind
Without you, it's a waste of time

This could also go along with the freedom concept in the sense of "you": being freedom itself. Regardless of how nice the sky is, if you don't have freedom it doesn't matter, does it?
This can naturally be seen as a lyric of love. And that's simple to see.

As for Frank Ocean's version...
He keeps the exact same tempo, the song is not being taken from besides the lyrics. No Brian Eno, the claps are faint, drums are more apparent. Ocean adds his vocals to the beginning in the perfect way. His version sounds more defined when compared to the original which sounds much more free and less edited. Ocean deals with a different concept, one some would consider very relevant to his generation; Love and the end of the world. The song is also the first actual track on his album Nostalgia, Ultra. Sno-Cheetah. It introduces the theme of Nostalgia for the album.

Yet more interesting is the concept of love and the worlds end:

The entire earth is fight, all the worlds at it's end,
Just in case, an atom bomb, comes falling on my lawn

The possibility of an atom bomb landing on any one's lawn these days are pretty likely and the mass conscious thought is that the world is ending. Yet this song is looking back with positivity:

I've loved the good times here.

But it gets lo key serious again when he says:

Say hello, then say farewell to all the places you know

This brings the thought that at any moment all the places you cherish, the same places that hold special spots in your memory could disappear due to various reasons (War, Natural Disaster, etc.) at any moment.

At any moment this could go

At the end Ocean says goodbye to his lover friend and leads smoothly into Chris Martin's lyrics.

Spaceships are lifting off, of  a dying world
Millions left behind as the sky burns
There wasn't room for you and I, only you, goodbye, goodbye

Now the sky could be blue, I don't mind...

Ocean ends the song with the sound of an alarm clock going off and him stopping it, indicating that it was all a dream.

All in all a great song. Coldplay and Frank Ocean have done amazing things with this track.

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