Sunday, October 23, 2016

Acoustic Version of Baio's Sister of Pearl

I have stated many times in the past that it is the rawness of a lot of music which makes it good. Certainly it is part of the reason I have always preferred acoustic versions of songs—most of the time I find them to be better than the original.

You can absolutely say that about the acoustic version of Imagine Dragon's Radioactive, or even Foster the People's Pumped Up Kicks. These are versions that show the real layers of the song that make them great before the studio effects and syth instruments and other things that make them more pop versions fit for the mainstream are tossed in.

There is another special treat in seeing these acoustic variations, and that is that it also offers the fan—not just of the bands, but of the music itself—an insight into the chemistry of the song writers, and of the song writing and playing process above all else. There is a distinct personal nature to the performances, and one thing I have also said many times in the past is that because music is such a personal thing for many listeners in and of itself, even for the studio versions, acoustic versions of great songs make the entire experience much more personalized. When a song is special to you personally, the song really becomes yours in a way. Certainly any musician can appreciate such a personal connection with what to them is truly personally connected to them.

In the past I wrote about Baio who happens to be the bassist for the alternative rock band Vampire Weekend, and one of his songs which captured my attention. Sister of Pearl. I do like the song, and of course that's why I wrote about it. But every time I have heard it I have always felt something was amiss about it. Perhaps I don't like the extra synthy feel of it, thinking there could have been much more done with it. After all, listening to the studio version of Sister of Pearl you can definitely find a simple song that is also letting you know right off the bat there is more to it than what you hear.

I know that sounds like a silly thing to say when I am about to tell you that the acoustic version is a much better version since it is essentially, while multi-layered, stripped down to its true raw form. But in this version, to my mind, ironically there is quite a bit more depth to the entire song. And for me, this version took a song I like, that I found very pleasant to listen to, and turned it into an amazing song. All of the synthesized parts taken out and replaced by pure acoustic fill gives a glimpse into the real music behind the song that even gave the studio version a chance to be good.

I really wish that the acoustic version of this song was the one that Baio put out first. But then, just like sometimes reading a book makes a great movie even better, spinning an acoustic version of a great song makes it stellar. And in my opinion this is exactly what Baio achieved with this version of Sister of Pearl.

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