All the Rage Back Home
Greetings! It’s been too long!
Here’s my analysis of “All the Rage Back Home” — the image above is a mini-transcription of the guitar and voice parts from the Intro and the guitar and bass parts from the Chorus. At the bottom of this post is the “skeleton” of the song: the chords, plus the duration of each part.
My first thought when re-listening to this song earlier today was “this kind of reminds me of the way that Antics begins with ‘Next Exit’.” There’s something cheery about “Rage” (ha) that reminds me of “Exit”, I think because both songs are pretty clearly in a bright major key (C major for Exit and G major for Rage). In the same way that Antics was a big milestone for the band (their sophomore effort after the major success of TOTBL), El Pintor is also a big milestone; it’s the album that says “we can survive the loss of Carlos D.” Like I mentioned in my initial thoughts on El Pintor, there is something very playful and free-sounding about this album.
My other thoughts:
- The form of this song creates a feeling of tension for me: The “normal” way to divide up the sections of a song is by numbers divisible by 2; this creates a sense of balance and predictability. But verse 1 repeats its four-measure pattern *three* times, and combined with the intro (which is essentially the same music as the verse but without the bass) that equals 7. Verse 2 repeats the four-measure pattern four times, but really the first four measures are like the intro in terms of texture, so the “feel” of verse 2 is more like 1 + 3 (instead of 2+ 2). The choruses are also structured very strangely. There is a three-measure pattern that repeats twice; this is followed by another three-measure pattern, which shuffles around the order of the three chords that make up the chorus (so, 3 + 3 + 3). By contrast, the outro feels like a “release” to me, because we get the same chordal pattern as the chorus, but it’s slightly extended so that we now have a balanced four-measure pattern.
- As you can see in my transcription above, there is some complex counterpoint happening between the guitar and voice in this song. Both lines are very syncopated, which creates a sense of rhythmic imbalance. However, these two lines often move in contrary motion to and from the same notes, which by contrast creates a sense of spatial balance. For example, when Daniel moves from B up to E in measure 2 of the intro, Paul moves from E down to B, and then that’s reversed. In the next measure Daniel moves from B up to D, while Paul moves from D down to B.
- Voicing is everything in this song. (By “voicing” I mean the way in which the individual notes of each chord are distributed among the instruments/vocals.) It was difficult to decide which chords were being played in some cases because of the voicing. For example, I decided to say that the first chord of the chorus is a D7 (D-F#-A-C) chord with the seventh (“C”) in the bass, because the bass is definitely playing a C there, while the guitar plays F# and C, the vocals sing on the notes A-B-C, and the synths sustain a D. This is an uncommon voicing of a major-minor seventh chord, and if you were to strum a D7 on a guitar you might not immediately recognize it as the first chord of Rage’s chorus.
All this to say: Interpol’s musical complexity remains intact in El Pintor. From the unusual phrasing, to the importance of texture, to the avoidance of strongly establishing the key (note that the song rarely ever “lands” on the tonic chord G major; instead D major is emphasized to keep the song pushing ever forward to a resolution that we never get). I’m really looking forward to digging into the rest of the songs.
(quarter note = 84; 4/4 time)
0:00 Intro: C | Em | G | G7 4xs
0:49 Vs 1: C | Em | G/D | G7/D 3xs [guitar F# starts at end of 3rd rep]
1:23 Ch 1: ||: D7/C | Em | D :|| C/D | D7/C | Em
1:49 Vs 2: C | Em | G/D | G7/D 4xs [first 4 bars have intro texture]
2:35 Ch 2: ||: D7/C | Em | D :|| C/D | D7/C | Em
3:00 Outro: ||: D7/C | Em | D | D :|| 7xs (fade out) [Ch harmonic rhythm “normalized”]
A parting note: For those that have made specific requests/engaged in conversations with me—I haven’t forgotten! I am working on all of them, if a bit slowly!