Monday, December 9, 2013

'You Are The Girl' - Door to Door, 1987

The Cars were a band that produced hits that had a nice mixture of easy guitar and keyboard. I first heard their song 'Magic' from 1984 (the year it came out) and was hooked in by the nice keyboard in it.

'You Are the Girl' was a later song that I would eventually hear in Wal-Mart. I've been in a sort of pattern here over the past couple of years thanks to Wal-Mart - from working there I've heard this, 'Reelin' in the Years' by Steely Dan, 'Hold me Now' by Thompson Twins, and a couple of others. This was back in the summer that I heard this. Since then, they've turned off the music for some reason.

It was one of those songs you hear parts of and like but don't know what it is yet first. One afternoon, I was on my break and was sitting in the Mcdonalds (like usual, really) and my co-worker Brian walked in. Seeing me, he grinned - but did not turn his head towards me. Rather, he kept it straight ahead but looked at me and grinned. It made me laugh out loud because I noticed him while he was in the middle of doing this, so from my perspective I'm looking up and seeing someone grinning at me out of the corner of his eye like I'm a girl he has a crush on.

Some time later, I'd be in the back room working and I'd hear this bit of song - just a sort of instrumental cue as the vocalist sang a lyric, back then I didn't know - and I'd immediately like it. Attaching an instrumental intro onto the beginning of it in a certain way in my mind, I saw Brian giving me that funny grin, and that would give it some humour.

I would decide thanks to the green texture that the keyboard bit was simply a sustained A note, lower on a keyboard (A has always been green), and later confirm this. I liked it. I wouldn't be aware of the song until I heard that note, and then realize it was playing in the store. Unfortunately, working in the back means it's very hard to hear the music often.

It wasn't until mid-July this summer that I heard it, a Sunday night. Funny timing considering the title and the chorus and meaning of the song and the time I finally heard it. It was the end of the shift, end of the night. I was on my way out after getting my stuff, walking through crafts, when I heard the note. Finally, I heard the lyric "Why don't you stay for awhile?" I stood there and listened hard. The chorus started. "You are the girl...that keeps me up at night." I virtually shook my head at the lyric and my circumstances at the time.

I went home. I searched it. I couldn't find anything at first because I phrased it as 'you're the girl.' Eventually I found it - by The Cars. Late 1980s. Made perfect sense.

It was their last hit from their last album, Door to Door. That keyboard intro thing I mentioned earlier does happen in the song, near the beginning. A, GA, B...A. It's the added B that adds to the grinning positivity context and makes me see Brian grinning ridiculously. Though I see less of him than I do of the hopeful positivity it gives me. Heard after 16 seconds in, during the song's intro.

It's a nice song that's evidently about relationship turbulence and reassurance. "Why don't you dream anymore? What's in the way?" "You are the girl that keeps me up all night/makes me feel all right..." I like that. The line "Why don't you talk anymore? What did I say?" really speaks to me. "What is it what I came for is floating away?"

As for the music, there's several high points for me. The sustained A note bit is one of them - especially when all the backing voices (not lead singer Ric Ocasek) sing that 'why don't you stay for awhile' lyric. Their vocal inflection and melody of 'stay' and 'awhile' is brilliantly done. The A note gives me an image of my own face - as if like Brian seemed to be, I'm looking at someone I like or have a crush on, but unlike Brian, instead of goofy grinning, I'm giving an expression of sincerity and depth. Like I just asked, "you want to do this?" like an adventure, in a meaningful way, and I have no mask on. I'm flat-out visible, I mean it. I look serious but in a good way. Just asked a deep question or something.

There's also the G-C back and forth bit right before that part that makes me think of two people looking at each other in understanding and interest, new feelings, etc. The bass is complimented and augmented with the keyboard on that part to give it more meaning or sensitivity. During the chorus, the structure goes C-D-G-D...when it goes back down to G, a deeper note, I imagine someone waiting for something to happen or someone to come or notice them, and then they get discouraged (G) but then go right back and look again hopefully (back up to D). Memories of my doing that over the years in situations come up. Because the A repeats a few times during the chorus, though, the context is seen differently and I get a face that's dumbfounded and back to square one. Very different from the lead-in part I just took apart earlier.

Altogether it's a typical Cars song that sounds good, with its mixture of keyboards and guitars. It's upbeat and the lyrics are nice. It can apply to me in certain ways, though I'm sure it can apply to everyone. I won't go too much into the music video particularly as I saw it once and didn't like it. It's creative but kind of alien to me, and I mean this both figuratively and literally - I don't see how it relates to the song very well, and it literally takes place on a spaceship, and ends with the band getting together with alien females. Their faces are unusual and almost completely unappealing to me in any way (one has three mouths). The image of their spaceship docking with the female one (their vessel-shaped one inserts into a crack-like door in the female one) gave me an image in bad taste.

Music: B
Lyrics: B

It's nice. I'm glad I found it. I have it on a CD I listen to in the car now and then. It's got nice lyrics.

"You are the girl in my dreams..."

Justin C.

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