“Specialist” [video analysis]

Here’s my analysis! Some notes from the video:

“Specialist” is one of Interpol’s longest songs, and has a complex form (see my division of the lyrics below). After Chorus 2, a new and different 3-part section begins. This 3-part section returns after Chorus 3. The overall effect is that there are two songs in “Specialist”: the Verses/Choruses (A minor/G major), and the 3-part section (D minor).

INTRO – A MINOR
0:00-0:09 bass solo (A – E – D)

VERSE 1 (short)
0:10-0:25 vox/bass
You make me lose my buttons oh yeah you make me spit
I don’t like my clothes anymore
We’re spending time and money yeah you’re colder than yourself
Now we’re moving now we’re taking control

INTERLUDE
0:26 bass/guitar
0:43 bass/guitar/drums/2nd gtr

VERSE 2
1:00
You make me lose my buttons oh yeah you make me spit
I don’t like my clothes anymore
You take me to New Orleans yeah you put me to the test
I know what my heart is for
1:17
You reach out for a blanket I say girl you’ve got something
I love how you wear it
Now we’re spending time and money yeah you’re colder than yourself
Now we’re moving now we’re taking control

CHORUS 1 (short) – G MAJOR
1:35
Love will get you down!

VERSE 3 – A MINOR
1:43
My love’s a laboratory I set all my pets free
So baby you should sleep with me
I make trips to the bathroom and my friends dont have true grit
I am speckled like a leopard
2:02
Put a lid on Shirley Temple yeah you make sleek kills
Yeah you travel you travel
You park me in your buick you sing songs into my lips
Well i am speckled like a leopard
Just like a leopard

CHORUS 2- G MAJOR
2:20
Trust will get you down
A MINOR
I love the way
You put me in the big house
I love the way
You put me in the big house

3-PART SECTION
2:44
If I get there early will it be the right time?
Our heaven is just waiting so put your hand into mine
If I get too surly will you take that in stride?
our boat is just there waiting so put that little hand in mine

3:02
And speak when you’re spoken of
Catch up on your sleep girl
When you wear that body glove
You’re acting on initiative
And you’re spelling out your love
You shouldn’t be alone in there
You could be above ground

D MINOR
3:18
All i want is to be the very best for you
All i want is to do the very best by you

3:35
Oh this time
There’ll be no life of crime
Don’t rain on me tonight

VERSE 4 (short) – A MINOR
3:52
Circle around me now baby it’ll be ok
Cause we all go downtown sometimes
Somehow baby we’ll beat this mess
It’s the time fuck the surface to meet the specialist

CHORUS 3 – G MAJOR
4:27
Time away from me
Will get you down
A MINOR
I love the way you put me in the big house
I love the way you put me in the big house

3-PART SECTION
4:53
If I get there early will it be the right time?
Our heaven is just waiting
So put your hand into mine
If I get too surly will you take that in stride?
Our boat is just here waiting
So put your little hand in mine

5:09
And speak when you’re spoken of
Catch up on your sleep
When you wear that body glove
You’re acting on initiative
you’re spelling out your love
You shouldn’t be alone in there
You could be above ground

D MINOR
5:27
If you’re frustrated then go
If you’re frustrated then go

5:42 – D MINOR

CODA – D MINOR
5:59
Honey bee, you should be through with this,
your packaged eyes, your vicious lips,
You could be young, but you’re out of touch
If this love’s been done, then what’s your rush?

I’m a specialist in hope and I’m registered to vote
Why don’t you come into my barrio
We’ll see if we can float
I’m a specialist in hope and I’m registered to vote
Why don’t you come into my barrio
We’ll see if you can float

Advertisements

~ by megwilhoite on January 31, 2012.

7 Responses to ““Specialist” [video analysis]”

  1. Hi Meg
    This was impressing !!….thanks so much.

    We were missing your videos and this one really revealed me about several fascinations i had with Specialist,… even though It will take me some time to properly “digest” all the points of your analysis.

    I cannot find any website with such piano version… Did you transcribe the tabs ? If so, please shot a picture of each paper as you did with Scale !!!

    THANKS !
    Fran

    PS: you do sing so sweet

  2. Thank you, Fran! I did not transcribe Specialist (I was playing “by ear”), but I will transcribe it and post it here as soon as I finish!

    Cheers!
    Meg

  3. Great Meg !! …. “chords hand” will be enough 🙂 , just to encompass guitar line, so I’ll try to combine yours with my guitar
    cheers

  4. Hi Meg,

    So glad that you chose to analyze this song. I also wanted to say that you’re excellent at explaining these concepts. My knowledge of music theory isn’t nearly as extensive as yours, but I’m always able to follow along since you explain everything so clearly. I can’t wait to read and watch some more of your analyses.

    – Sam

  5. Hi Meg,

    … based on your dissection and song framework, I’ve been trying to put it into a simple chord version. I feel there are some subtle mistakes, but can’t find them…. would you please help me playing it with your piano to identify tones and chord variations I can’t perceive ?

    (Trick for guitar. Play chrords as: Asus2 = X02200, Am7= X02010, A7sus2 = X02000 and play rest of chords barred (not open ).
    Dm=x57765, Dsus2=x57755, D7sus2=x57555 )

    ************
    bass line:
    A|-0—0——-0—7—7—7—7–|-5—5——-5—5—5—5—5–| x6

    You make me lose my buttons oh yeah you make me spit ..I don’t like my clothes anymore
    We’re spending time and money yeah you’re colder than yourself ..Now we’re moving now we’re taking control
    *************************************************
    Am Asus2 Am A7sus2
    You make me lose my buttons oh yeah you make me spit..I don’t like my clothes anymore
    You take me to New Orleans yeah you put me to the test..I know what my heart is for
    You reach out for a blanket I say girl you’ve got something..I love how you wear it
    Now we’re spending time and money yeah you’re colder than yourself..Now we’re moving now we’re taking control
    *************************************************
    G Dm G
    Love ———- will get you down!
    *************************************************
    Am Asus2 Am Am7
    My love’s a laboratory I set all my pets free..So baby you should sleep with me
    I make trips to the bathroom and my friends dont have true grit ..I am speckled like a leopard
    Put a lid on Shirley Temple Yeah you make sleek kills ..Yeah you travel —— you travel
    U park me in Ur buick U sing songs into my lips Well i am speckled like a leopard …Just like a leopard
    *************************************************
    G Dm G Asus2
    Trust ——– will get you down
    *************************************************
    Am Asus2 Am Am7
    I love the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay You put me in the big house
    Am Asus2 Am Am7 Asus2
    I love the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay You put me in the big house
    *************************************************
    F Am Dm Dsus2 D7sus2
    If I get there early will it be the right time?,Our heaven is just waiting so put your hand into mine
    If I get 2 surly will you take that in stride?Our boat is just there waiting so put your little hand in mine F Am Dm Dsus2 D7sus2
    And speak when you’re spoken of Catch up on your sleep girl When you wear that body glove
    U’re acting on initiative & U’re spelling out your love U shouldn’t be alone in there U could be above ground
    *************************************************
    F E C C#
    All I want is to be the very best for you
    All I want is to do the very best by you
    *************************************************
    Dm F Bb Cm Dm F Bb Cm
    Oh this time, There’ll be no life of crime, Don’t rain on me tonight
    *************************************************
    Am Asus2 Am Am7
    Circle around me now baby it’ll be ok
    Cause we all go downtown sometimes
    Somehow baby we’ll beat this mess ..It’s the time fuck the surface to meet the specialist
    *************************************************
    G Dm G
    Time away from me Will get you down
    *************************************************
    Am Asus2 Am Am7
    I love the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay You put me in the big house (x2)
    *************************************************
    F Am Dm Dsus2 D7sus2
    If I get there early will it be the right time?,Our heaven is just waiting so put your hand into mine
    If I get 2 surly will you take that in stride?Our boat is just there waiting so put your little hand in mine
    And speak when you’re spoken of, Catch up on your sleep girl When you wear that body glove
    U’re acting on initiative & U’re spelling out your love U shouldn’t be alone in there U could be above ground
    *************************************************
    Bb, Am, C (x2)
    *************************************************
    Dm F C (x2)
    If you’re frustrated then go (x2)
    Dm F Bb Cm
    Honey bee, you should be through with this, your packaged eyes, your vicious lips,
    You could be young, but you’re out of touch, If this love’s been done, then what’s your rush?
    Dm F Bb Cm Asus2
    I’m specialist in hope and I’m registered to vote Why don’t U come into my barrio We’ll see if we can float (x 2)

  6. oh my goodness I’m so sorry Fran, I just realized that I never responded to this, and it’s been over a year! Eek!

    The problem with labeling this song with chords is how polyphonic it is—even when Daniel or Paul is actually strumming a chord, very often Carlos is doing something to complicate the chord, like when Paul is singing “initiative” around 3:05, and the guitar is strumming an F chord, but Carlos is playing a B-flat in the bass. Anyway, here’s my take on it (a lot of which agrees with yours), starting from 1:00:

    Am Asus2 Am A7sus2
    You make me lose my buttons oh yeah you make me spit…
    [guitar tab:]
    E| -0-0-0–0-0-0–0-0-0———0
    B| -1-1-1–1-1-1–1-1-1–3–3–1
    G| —————————4–4–
    *************************************************
    G (Am Dm7) G Am
    Love ———- will get you down!
    *************************************************
    Am Asus2 Am Am7
    My love’s a laboratory I set all my pets free…
    *************************************************
    G (Am Dm7) G Am
    Trust ——– will get you down
    *************************************************
    Am Asus2 Am Am7
    I love the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay You put me in the big house…
    *************************************************
    F Am Dm Dsus2 D7sus2
    If I get there early will it be the right time?…
    *************************************************
    F Am
    All I want is to be the very best for you…
    *************************************************
    Dm F Am/Bb Am
    Oh this time, There’ll be no life of crime,
    Dm F Am/Bb Am
    Don’t rain on me tonight
    *************************************************
    Am Asus2 Am Am7
    Circle around me now baby it’ll be ok…
    *************************************************
    G (Am Dm7) G Am
    Time away from me Will get you down
    *************************************************
    Am Asus2 Am Am7
    I love the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay You put me in the big house (x2)
    *************************************************
    F Am Dm Dsus2 D7sus2
    If I get there early will it be the right time?…
    *************************************************
    Bb, Am, C (x2)
    *************************************************
    Dm F C (x2)
    If you’re frustrated then go (x2)
    Dm F Am/Bb Am
    Honey bee, you should be through with this…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: