This blog is the story of my journey through the hills and valleys of the land we call Music. On my travels I have already come across a shape with three sides (Alt-J, “the alternative triangle band”) and one with five sides (Pentangle, whose trees they do grow high). It’s hard to imagine a shape with less than two sides – there are even two sides to every story – but Travis say that a circle only has one side.
Side is a song about human nature. It’s about our restlessness, our one-upmanship, our desire to win. It’s about the flaws that bring us into conflict. It scolds us for our greed and our disregard for our fellow men. And it urges us to put aside our selfishness and love one another.
The grass is always greener on the other side,
Neighbour’s got a new car that you wanna drive,
Time is running out, you wanna stay alive.
We all live under the same sky,
We all will live, we all will die,
There is no wrong, there is no right,
The circle only has one side.
This isn’t just a great song, it’s a perfect example of modern popular music. It has a tune that begs to be sung and a rhythm that grabs your attention; strummed guitars give it a pleasing, full sound; verse, chorus and bridge passages give it structure; it builds to crescendos that resolve to restful interludes; and the production balances instruments and vocals beautifully. And, unlike most pop songs, it even has meaningful lyrics.