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This Whole Love Thing
This song had been around as a demo for over 4 years before I finished and released it. The hook “This Whole Love Thing” was inspired by a conversation with one of my friends who said the phrase while describing how he didn’t expect to have such strong feelings for a woman he was dating. Of course, I wrote it down in my phone as a song idea and eventually developed it.
The opening drum machine pattern is a reference to a 1990 Roxette single called It Must Have Been Love, which was in the movie Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. I started out wanting to write a power ballad, and that Roxette track is one of my favorites. My song didn’t turn out to have that much “power” but it’s still got some ballady vibes. The drum machine samples I used are from the Akai MPC60, which came out in 1988.
The other instruments that make up the song are pretty classic: a Rhodes electric piano, bass guitar layered with a Moog bass synthesizer, a few electric guitars, and for the country music vibe I put in Hammond Organ.
In the lyrics, I also snuck in a reference from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, the film from 1985 starring one of my biggest influences in entertainment, Pee Wee Herman. The reference is in the first verse. Can you find it? (Leave me a comment on this blog entry)
The vocal treatment for the verses was inspired by John Lennon’s song Watching the Wheels. After I had finished recording the vocals, I was at a lost as to how to affect the dry vocal recordings, so I asked a couple of friends. Patrick Kornegay, a movie producer and music nerd, responded by suggesting I try something like Watching the Wheels. I was dubious at first, but after I figured out which effects to put on the voice, it was exactly what the song needed.
I love the cover photo for This Whole Love Thing, taken by my friend and BAO bassist Timm Shingler, because it makes me look like Steve Carell from the movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin. LOL! I look like I’m staring off into space daydreaming about my crush or something. It’s just so innocent and dorky and funny. The photo was taken on 120 film, using a Voigtländer Perkeo I camera from the 1950s. I also took a similar image of Timm too, check it out.
Real question, tho: Are you interested in Youtube videos where I dissect each song and talk about the technical construction and inspiration for each song? Lemme know, yo! If you’d like to support my work, here are a few other ways:
- Join my mailing list so you can get access to new releases a few days before everyone else
- Follow my artist page on Spotify or Apple Music or TIDAL
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel
- Buy something from shop.baovocreative.com
Rick Beato’s YouTube series “What Makes This Song Great” is one of the few channels I subscribe to, and I love it, but one thing missing from his analyses is insight into the *why* questions. He can thoroughly deconstruct the sounds, but he can’t truly explain why it was done that way, because, obviously, he’s not the artist.
So yeah, I’d love to see an artist deconstruct their own music, song and explain how it was made, the backstory and the inspiration. Like adding DVD commentary to a music album.
spot on. thanks for the feedback, Ben!