Probably my favorite song of the decade is Inside Out by Spoon. This is a real normie pick. And it came out in 2015 but I slept on it until 2019. Gonna wax fanatical about it for a while.
It is terribly simple. 12 bars that repeat. Sometimes the camera zooms in and we hold on a chord for a little longer than you might expect, sometimes we linger before getting to the next verse. Or so it seems. It's all done formulaically. Nothing out of place. C, F, G. I, IV, V. It's a blues song? That can't be. There are some 7ths and, uh, 6ths - the variation is vital, but almost invisible. The song is 100% diatonic but making full use of all 7 scale tones as colorants. The drums do the same thing the whole time, except when they don't. The snare has a controlled sustain like a hi hat. The bass just stops sometimes. So does the pad.
Time's gone inside out. Time gets distorted when there's intense gravity. I don't got time for holy rollers, though they may wash my feet. And I won't be their soldier.
Not much has been said in the first verse, but we're establishing some ground to build on.
There's intense gravity in you.
(theres intense gravity in you)
I'm just your satellite.
(im just your satellite)
The vocal delay is an absolutely beautiful touch. Singing into a black hole of a person.
I know that time's gone inside out.
And then the voice and its echo converge, in harmony.
And now it's only like I told you - though they may wash my feet, they do not make me complete.
Oh. Well, there it is. It's a love song. But a love song with the trappings of cosmic law.
Then we get a keyboard solo that I heard is supposed to sound like an old old sample. They had the keyboardist play deliberately off time. You get that effect at first when it's just zither gliss, but it becomes more deliberate later on. This solo definitely belongs in this song. The whole thing is smothered in enough convolution that it sounds like a faint transmission from another galaxy. It's not even the best keyboard solo in the song.
Break out of character for me. Time keeps on going and we've got nothing left to give.
(weve got nothing left to give)
'cause our time's gone inside out. I don't make time for holy rollers. There's only you I need. They do not make me complete.
Another keyboard solo. Starts on the left and then is replied to by a complementary run on the right. This keyboard solo sings with its echo too. Two halves in cosmic unity. By the end, they glitch out in digital delay and the descending figure from the first solo is back, multiple times, and then it fades into the background as well. The pads in the back swell. The track sneezes and everything cuts out for a beat, then returns, like a distant star being snuffed out. The track fades back into the just-waking-up ambient sounds of people moving around a studio, the same ambience the song opened with. Was it all a dream? No. It is my favorite song of the decade.