26.4.11

Best of Chuck's iPod 2

I don't know if this title is particularly appropriate anymore, since my iPod actually died. But I need to actually write something, since I've been busy/lazy/sick and that has cut into blogging time. Busy is good, lazy and sick are less so.

Today, we're going to look at one of my favourite songs of all time from my favourite soundtrack of all time, and the timing is somewhat appropriate: Heaven on Their Minds from Jesus Christ Superstar.

If you're unfamiliar with the tale itself, it's a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber about Jesus's final days as told from the perspective of Judas. This song is the opening anthem that establishes the situation and Judas' politics and opinions on it all. But enough exposition, let's analyze.

Lyrics

"I remember when this whole thing began, no talk of God then, we called you a man." It's pretty clear that Judas is very worried about the direction Jesus and his teachings are going, that the message is getting lost in the man. Judas also seems to be fairly genre savvy about the story itself(which shows up later in the more famous song form the musical, Superstar).

""Tables, chair and oaken chests would've suited Jesus best." It's definitely a perspective on Jesus that is not voiced often, describing him more as a great but ambitious man than as the "SON OF GOD!" told everywhere else, wondering if everything would have been better if Jesus had just stayed a carpenter's son.

"It was beautiful but now it's sour." Fundamentally, this song is about difference of vision for an organisation. Judas is more concerned about keeping things going, growing slowly, doing the good they can when they can, and he sees Jesus as someone whose reach exceeds his grasp and endangering things as a result.

Voice

Oh man. Carl Anderson has an AWESOME voice. He conveys both the worry that the tone of the song requires, but there's still a nice edge, foreshadowing Judas' ultimate decisions and fate regarding Jesus.

Form

Very 70s rock with some funk styles, especially in the bass. Has a good swing. An interesting bridge where the time signature changes to 7/8.

But that's most of what I wanted to say about that song. I'll probably have another post this week or early next week.

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