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Category: Songwriting

  1. You Don't Get Me

    Posted on

    Lyric

    “You Don’t Get Me” started with a lyric from David B.

    The original lyric was written from the point of view of a girl making a scene to her boyfriend.  I suggested that we change it to a teenager making a scene to her dad.  This shift was done with only a few line changes.

    David B. is no teenage girl, and neither I am… so this is a song that I think would benefit from a co-write with the artist, to further fine-tune the lyric and make it fit the artist personality and language.

    Music & Production

    The musical hook is based on a simple guitar riff, together with a cool bass line and syncopated groove.

    There are two very distinct drum parts: the syncopated drum machine that runs throughout, and heavy acoustic drums on top during the choruses.

    Ben Treeby played guitar, Kelly Webb sang, I played the other tracks, sang backups, produced and mixed.  John Astley mastered.

    “Heavy Remix”

    The version uploaded on YouTube and SoundCloud is slightly different from the original version featured on the “Back in the Groove” album (available on iTunes, CD Baby, and wherever good mp3s are sold ;-)).

    In the original version, the big drums only come in on the final set of choruses.  I liked the idea of “holding out” for a while then finishing off with a big climax.  The overall feedback I got though, was that the early choruses needed to be bigger.  So now, every chorus has big heavy drums on them!

     

    YOU DON'T GET ME
    Words by David B. / Music by A. Robin
    Produced by SuperCool-Guy
    © 2012 -- All rights reserved

    I'm not that serious
    Sometimes I'm delirious
    I don't like fitting in
    I won't quit 'till I win

    I don't like girlie things
    Shabby chic just ain't my scene
    Rock and roll that's what I like
    Partying all through the night

    But you call me your sweet little princess
    You're such a mess

    Chorus:
    You don't get me
    You don't get me
    You don't get me
    You don't
    Why don't you understand?
    You just don't get me

    You got your set of rules
    And I don't think they're cool
    You want me to behave
    You say I'm going through a phase

    You think you know me, you don't have a clue
    I'm tellin' you

    Chorus:
    You don't get me...

    Bridge:
    I got to be myself
    Gotta have some fun
    I'm learnin' to be free
    My life has just begun
    These times I won't forget
    And one day you'll regret

    Chorus:
    You don't get me...

    Why don't you understand?
    See me as I am

    [Repeat chorus]

    Why don't you let yourself
    See me as I am
    And then you'll understand
    That you just don't get me.

  2. 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.

  3. Drummer-Songwriters

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    The drums being a rhythmic – as opposed to a melodic – instrument, songwriting is not a natural progression for drummers.  But drummers can be multi-instrumentalists and well-rounded musicians, and do cross over, sometimes to outstanding results.

    As a songwriter who started with drums as a teenager, then learned to play basic parts on the keyboard – just so I could play the melodies I was hearing in my head – the following drummer-songwriters have made particularly strong impressions on me: 

     


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