Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Eagle Eye Cherry, "Save Tonight"

Song: "Save Tonight"
Artist: Eagle Eye Cherry
Album: Desireless
Written by: Eagle Eye Cherry
Year: 1998
Key: Am
Classification: SF1
Lyrical content: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (opposite perspective); chart prediction as romantic metaphor
Where used: verse, chorus

One of the problems with designating something the "Sensitive Female Chord Progression" (one of many, many problems) lies in what to do when you inevitably identify your first example of someone with a Y chromosome using it. That honor went to Eagle Eye Cherry, who in 1998 managed to perfectly copy his sister Neneh's career by having one giant hit and then dropping off the face of the earth (or the charts, which might as well be the same thing in this business). So what'd I do in the face of a palpably male performer using a chord progression that I'd previously identified only with women? I shrugged and moved on.

Maybe if I'd picked up on an SFCP song by another male artist first — the Offspring, for instance — I'd've responded differently. But "Save Tonight" makes the transition to recognizing that dudes use the progression as well a reasonably smooth one. Cherry's playing the sensitive-boyfriend card here, begging for a romantic evening before he vanishes the next day (which makes the lyric an eerily accurate analogue to how the song would fare in the real world). There's none of the insistent urging that would suggest that the woman in question is being persuaded to succumb to Cherry's charms despite her better judgement. Whatever's going to happen after the wine has been poured has happened before, and it'll probably happen again once he returns, and he will return.

Truth be told, the whole thing's a bit boring. Cherry picks up on the SFCP right out of the gate and never once drops it. Even "One Of Us" and "Building A Mystery" throw in brief but crucial respites from the relentlessness of cycling through the same four chords ad infinitum. Cherry doesn't bother, and once the full band comes in, you've pretty much heard everything the song has to offer musically. Sure, the chorus features a slightly different melody and adds a vaguely perceptible electric guitar, and a slide guitar plays just enough notes to qualify as a solo, but "Save Tonight" essentially just goes on and on without changing in any substantial way. There's no tension anywhere in the song as a result, and it's not a particularly good sign when you keep looking at your watch as your guy's telling you to make every moment count.

Full song: Eagle Eye Cherry, "Save Tonight"
Listen to the SFCP clip for this song

No comments:

Post a Comment