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Category: Pop

  1. Richard Marx

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    Richard Marx is one of my favorite artists of the 1980s and 90s and an inspiration to my own songwriting.  He’s mostly known for his ballads, and rockers with soul influences.  He’s a great songwriter, with a very distinctive voice, both raspy and soulful.

    I would describe Richard Marx’ sound as a combination of Toto, Bryan Adams, Chicago and David Foster… 

    Some personal favorite – other than the obvious ones like “Right Here Waiting”, “Hazard”, etc. – include “Heaven Only Knows”, “Satisfied”, “Children of the Night”, “Take This Heart”, “Loved”,…

    Although he hasn’t had a top 10 hit as an artist since the 1998’s “At the Beginning” (with Donna Lewis, from the “Anastasia” animated movie soundtrack), Richard Marx continues to lead a very successful and prolific career, both as an artist, and even more so as a songwriter/producer… and at 48, he does not seem to have aged one bit!...

  2. Maroon 5

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    Maroon 5 provided much of the inspiration for “Time Difference”, particularly with songs like “Makes Me Wonder”.

    Their sound is a fusion of pop-rock and funk, made instantly recognizable by Adam Levine’s distinctive high-pitched vocals.

    Timeline

    The original members of Maroon 5 had met in college and been playing together since the mid-90s, but it took until 2000 for the band proper to form, and 2002 for the release of its first album, “Songs about Jane”.

    It took another two years of relentless touring and promotion, and the 2004 release of their second single “This Love” for Maroon 5 to finally break through and find mainstream success.  The next single, “She Will be Loved” repeated the success of its predecessor and the album eventually went multi-platinum in the US and many countries around the world… but it took a good 2-3 years of hard work to get there.

    Maroon 5 followed up with the cryptically-named “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long” in 2007 and “Hands All Over” in 2010 (produced by the legendary Robert John “Mutt” Lange), both of which went platinum and yielded a number of hits, most notably “Makes Me Wonder” (2007) and “Moves Like Jagger” featuring Christina Aguilera (2010), their biggest-selling song to date...

  3. Time Difference

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    With every song that I write and record, I like to try things I have never done before.

    With “Time Difference” I set out to try two things:

    • as a songwriter/producer: a fusion of rock and funk, loosely in the style of Maroon 5
    • as a singer: to push myself into a higher register in the style of Adam Levine or the Bee Gees.

    Lyrics

    The song started with a lyric from Joel Rockman.  I thought the concept and title were very good: on the one hand, quite original, on the other hand quite fitting for the jet-set pop-star life (touring around the world, away from lover) or anyone who’s been in a long-distance/transcontinental relationship, or simply travelling long-distance and missing their partner back home.

    Music & Production

    The music is based on a simple guitar riff that repeats throughout (in yellow on the ProTools session below), answered by a bass riff (in dark blue).

    Ben Treeby came in to do the guitar parts – I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted, and he got it right away.  I did all the other parts, vocals and mixing.

    The chorus is lifted by a second, funky guitar (green) and simple keyboard chords (purple).  A third guitar (light blue) plays power chords over the bridge and final chorus.

    So this is very much a guitar-bass-drums track, with some added percussions to get a nice groove.  Sort of half-way between rock and funk.

    The bridge is the more “sentimental” section lyrically and I have tried to make it the more melodic and “sweet” section musically, with added synthesizer pad (in turquoise) to soften it up.

    My favorite part is the break at 1’44” – with just drums, percussions and bass, then the funky guitar and vocal ad-libs come in to build it back up into the final set of choruses.  I also like the (hopefully!) unexpected but satisfying chord changes in the second half of the second and final choruses.

    I had some fun with the vocals, double-tracked in the verse and six-tracked in the choruses. 

    I think it’s quite funky… and at 2’38” run-time straight to the point!  I hope you guys like it…

     

    TIME DIFFERENCE

    Words by Joel Rockman / Music by A. Robin
    Produced by SuperCool-Guy
    © 2012 – All rights reserved 

    When I get up in the morning and start up my day
    You'll have finished work and you’ll be homeward on your way
    We'll think of one another by telepathy
    Wishing we were both together just you and me 

    Chorus:
    There's a time difference, honey
    A time difference
    A time difference, honey
    A time difference
    A time difference, honey
    A time difference
    A time difference, honey
    A time difference 

    When I get inside my bed for another lonely night
    You'll be getting out of yours, no one to hold you tight
    Quickly wash and dress yourself and then rush out of the door
    However much you've missed me, girl I've missed you more 

    Chorus:
    There's a time difference, honey
    A time difference… 

    Bridge:
    When my journey's over and I get off that plane
    We'll synchronize our lives and loving once again
    I'll never go back away, it's true
    So I can spend all my life with you 

    [Instrumental break]

    Chorus:
    There's a time difference, honey
    A time difference… 

    I'll never go back away, it's true
    So I can spend my life with you.


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