Impressionism is defined (in musical terms) as a late-19th-century and early-20th-century style of musical composition in which lush harmonies, subtle rhythms, and unusual tonal colors are used to evoke moods and impressions.  Composers such as Ravel and Debussy are composers often cited when speaking of this particular genre of classical music.  The Association has received frequent mention in this blog and their self-titled album (from 1969) remains a personal favourite for several reasons… one of which is the diversity of styles explored in the album.


 While Under Branches (from this album) may not fit the time parameters in the above definition, I think it could legitimately be argued that the song (both musically and lyrically) embodies the spirit of impressionism.   Here it is…


Where did the man go?
Where is the hero?
He’d like to see you

Under branches, looking into a stream
An ordinary day
And the leaves seem to fall upside down
They’re making a crown
For the man who wishes to stay
Even though he is afraid

Overlooking just what he is looking for
An ordinary day
And the sun seems to say welcome home
You don’t have to roam anymore

Under branches, looking into a stream

Never uncertain
There’s no one to blame
Never uncertain
I am a slave

I could never tell if I loved her
There was always more than another
Every day I tried to arrest her
Thought I was a cop, not a jester
It doesn’t matter
Whether I’m right or wrong
Begging your pardon
I’ll set ya free, so long

Can I look at your beauty?
As deep as I can see
As deep as that may be

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Larry Ramos (a member of the band who passed away last year) thought the song his favourite from the band’s extensive catalogue.  True or not, Under Branches remains an engaging composition worthy of more than one listen.

…and Everywhere

I titled that first section Nowhere because, unless you troll the Internet for the obscure, you probably wouldn’t discover that little musical gem.  On the other hand, the second song in this post (while frequently heard since 1978) has been particularly ubiquitous of late.  As a fairly regular viewer of The Mentalist, I was compelled to watch the show’s finale on February 18th.   While the series contained more than its share of dark moments, the last episode ended in a particularly upbeat mood.  Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) and Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) have just married after trapping a serial killer who had intended to “disrupt” their wedding.  The cast is joyfully dancing on the grounds of the couple’s future home and Lisbon informs her husband that she is expecting.  So, what’s the perfect song for the occasion?

Interesting enough, the song was also used this past month in a Scorpion episode and on Black-ish (so the always reliable Wikipedia tells me).  The song is September and the band Earth Wind and Fire.  The song reached #1 on the US R&B charts in 1978 and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Put on your dancing shoes and join the crowd…



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