“Tell Me One Thing” is smart pop-rock songwriting that delivers an immediately memorable melody, and what sounded like something entirely predictable (at least for the first 14 seconds), surprised me pleasantly several times throughout. Let’s talk about it:
The track starts with casual, almost staccato guitar strumming and a clean, tasteful guitar lead guiding us to the first verse. And when Garth starts singing, it’s through subtle distortion, as if proclaiming the lyrics through walkie talkie or CB radio. And Garth’s voice? It’s almost conversational, relaxed, and perhaps a little passive, but with a discernible vulnerability – he’s questioning a romantic partner to determine their current needs. Of course, if their demands are too great, Garth may consider other arrangements.
The chorus? It’s an energy uptick; a quick attack with bigger instrumentation, some fat analog-ish synths, and dense backing vocals (it sneaks up, makes a bolder statement, and quickly retreats before the second verse). And when the second verse hits, it takes up a little more aural space with floating synth and accenting guitar arpeggios.
My favorite part?
After the second chorus, and at about 1:46, we enter the bridge; it’s a great key change with subtly more aggressive percussion and a desperate plea for romantic stability. And besides the faster percussive backbone, dense harmonies engage to punctuate this emotionally transparent divergence. What a wonderful, kind of dreamy, exciting and moderately sad section (that thankfully returns very shortly).
After the bridge ends, a hasty guitar passage leads us right back to the chorus – it carries more of a punch, leading right back to…..another few bars of the bridge! Yay! And then, back to the song’s final verse which ends abruptly – the music stops just short of Garth’s final lyric, making a final point on the matter without the need to linger unnecessarily on any apparent distress.
So, is it good?
Garth Adam’s “Tell Me One Thing” is kind of light and self-aware regardless of the drama sustained by his partner’s widening emotional distance. And man, that bridge? It really grabbed me, and for those few moments, any aforementioned passiveness gave way to a more unfiltered honesty. So, yes – it’s good. Very, very good.
PS- If you like this song, you’ll find even stronger offerings in his steadily growing catalog (“Altitude” is a personal favorite).
BELOW: Listen to Tell Me One Thing and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Garth Adam by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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