First Hit #1: July 28, 2007
Trends were diverging in 2007, to an amusingly extreme degree. So right after we get some up tempo synthetic dance pop, we slow right down for a ballad mostly built on acoustic guitar and strings. It’s somewhat schizophrenic, the charts, but there’s certainly a place for both styles.
Which isn’t to say that I like Hey There Delilah, because I very much don’t. The problem – and the problem that marks so much of the chart in 2007 – is repetition. Tom Higginson’s vocals are fine, the lyrics, again about devotion, this time in a long-distance relationship, are fine. The problem is that the guitar line is just a few notes, the sound of someone contemplating taking up the instrument dicking around at a guitar store. It’s a terrible foundation to build a song on, because I found myself brought to distraction by just how it was just the same few notes, over and over again. A song needs more than switching between two notes in order to sustain four minutes, and after a while I just got aggravated by the unwillingness to actually compose a melody. Other people were less distracted by this central failing – the song was a hit after all – but the more I paid attention the more annoyed I was that a guy planning to pay for things with his guitar had wound up composing a guitar line that I could play, and I’m really bad at guitar.