02.27.2010

The third track on Prospekt’s March, my personal favorite, is “Glass of Water.” The lyrics deal with living a full, satisfying life, continuing the themes of life, death and living well. The opening texture of the song through the first two verses is pretty sparse: thin electric guitars, chill drums and thin bass. But the rock-awesome chorus is what sets this song apart even from Coldplay’s standardly excellent modus operandi. It’s in 7/4 time (reminiscent of the rocking chorus of “Death And All His Friends” from Viva La Vida), with full, beefy electric guitars and bass, high electronics, and lots of cymbals. There’s a high sparkly sound effect in the middle of the chorus (on the word “cling”) which is subtle but adds to the huge feeling of the chorus. At the end of the chorus, the music goes back to straight 4/4 time for one measure, then keeps the listener thrown off with a syncopated bar of 4/4. You can hear the straight 4/4 by listening for the snare drum on beats two and four, right before the lyrics “going nowhere fast” (which happen over the syncopation).

The piano interlude after the second chorus confused me for the longest time, because I couldn’t figure out whether the piano arpeggios were triplets (three notes to one beat) or sixteenth notes (four notes to one beat), no matter how hard I listened. But finally, I figured it out, and the reason it’s so difficult to hear is that it alternates between triplets (three notes going up then three notes going down) and sixteenth notes (four notes going up then four notes going down). You have to listen closely, but I’m almost positive that’s what’s happening. In a song called “Glass of Water,” it creates a cool blurred rippling effect that’s very clever and leads into the final chorus, which is instrumental without vocals. My only disappointment in this song is that there isn’t a cooler guitar solo over the instrumental chorus; the song as it is features an electric guitar simply repeating a high F-sharp and A (the third and fifth of the tonic chord D major).

The end of the song consists of a solo piano, voice and quiet electronics, bringing to a close the coolest song on the album and bringing the energy level back down before launching into the second coolest song on the album….

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