It might be chocked full of clever lines and twists, but lacks heart, realness, or believability. These types of songs often contain amazing lines in their own right, but don’t really contribute to making the song “in the room” a great song. I can say the same about writing music. In my early twenties while studying music, I learned all kinds of cool, sophisticated chord progressions. Then I threw them into every new song I wrote! I was so excited about using all the knowledge I now had in my head that I forgot to check myself: “Do these chords fit the emotion of the overall song?” Intellectually cool music, yes, but do you think I got any of these songs recorded by a major artist? No!
Songs are a finely tuned balance. As a mentor, it is a great feeling when I see a student gets this concept. Songs are not meant to be Heart vs. Head. They should be a finely tuned balance of both with each serving the master: the song. Always remember the song is the king and all we do during the process is solely to serve the song. It took me a long time to learn to write from this magical place that is deeper than either the heart or the head. It’s the well just below where we draw from, a place I call the Creative River.
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