20 January 2008
"This Excellent Love"

Third track on the album "This Excellent Love" is one of those songs where the story becomes more interesting after I wrote it. When I was writing it (I was still living in Setiawangsa at the time, circa 2002), I was just trying out a happy-sounding chord progression I'd written, with sort of melancholic words that I banged out in a couple of minutes. I think at the time I wrote it I wanted to write a song that was kind of celebratory and not so minor key. To be honest, I wasn't totally happy with the end result. I thought the song was sappy in some parts, the chorus a bit cliche, and overall it just wasn't really there. I called it "Gypsy". But after making one or two changes, I decided to perform it live anyway, because it's one of my more upbeat songs, and I thought it'd be nice to play something different.

The crowd reception to it was a surprise.

People liked it. They liked the chorus. Because it was "sexcellent". LOL. I must admit it's also not as weirdass as some of my other songs. So I decided to play it more often. Over the years, because more people seemed to remember the chorus, I decided to change the title to "This Excellent Love".

In 2006, I recorded it for the album, and also for inclusion on a DiGi-sponsored compilation CD featuring music by assorted local acts including Ferns, Furniture, Azmyl Yunor, Tan Sei Hon, Qings & Kueens, Superbar, et al, who played for the KLue Chillout series. It sounds different from the version I play live. A bit more subdued, because I didn't strum the guitar like a madman on the recorded version. I remember it took me and Hardesh just a little over a week to get the song done. We went through three different beats for it. (I think Hardesh got a bit miffed at me for pushing it so much - LOL. Sorry, Hardesh!) Also featured on the recorded version are drummer Jeremy Liew on snare (for a very short section) and Adlin Rosli who contributed the trippy guitar effects you can hear in the second chorus and outro. (It's the only song on the album which features guest players. I must try harder next time. :-P)

Paul Augusta aka Elias Rose, a musician/filmmaker friend from Indonesia, liked it so much that he shot a homemade video clip for it. I'm very touched by the gesture and I love the very simple video. It's very touching (literally!). LOL. And you can see it by following the tags to an older post. In a write-up he did about my upcoming album in The Jakarta Post, Paul described the song as a "cynic's return to love". I never thought about it that way before. Or actually even pondered about what it could mean. (Read the lyrics and tell me what it means to you.) It's one of those songs that I think really belong to the listeners. I don't mind performing it but it really was just a songwriting exercise for me that really connected.

In a way, I guess it is kind of a return to love.


This Excellent Love

If patience could give you the gypsy of my hands
To a house where your smile quietly stands
What it’s like to discover the truth with eyes closed
Go deeper and find your heart shaped like a rose

This town is curling like words on a burning page
Each promise in longhand conceals invisible rage
I wake up with nothing but the fragments of a dream
That I opened an empty box and heard you loudly scream

This excellent, excellent, excellent love

This book’s too thin to last beyond this lazy morning
This song’s too short to really grow any kind of meaning
I’m made like surrendering everything forever
I’m made like uncovering thunders forever

This excellent, excellent, excellent love

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