In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent.

And today, Professor Ryan Adams will explain counterpoint in more musical terms.

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Firstly, we have “How Do You Keep Love Alive?” – a piano-and-guitar ballad questioning how to make something work when it’s just not.

How do you keep things going, how do you push through, when your heart tells you it’s time to stop?

Or do you keep pushing?

Sometimes, no. You stop.

What does it mean?
What does it mean?
What does it mean to be so sad?
When someone you love
Someone you love is supposed to make you happy
What do you do
How do you keep love alive?
When it won’t
What, what are the words
They use when they know it’s over
“We need to talk,” or
“I’m confused, maybe later you can come over”

And on the other, when you’ve had the realisation that it’s time to stop pushing, and you do stop, there’s that moment when you know, you just know, it’s for the best – and despite how sad you feel, the sun does rise every morning.

And for that moment, we have “Dance All Night” – drums, harmonica, guitar, all slightly drunk-happy, and a wonderful wistfulness…

A wistful hug and kiss and smile between two people who know that, in the end, they’re going to be fine…

Just fine…

She ain’t lonely now
See her shuffle across the floor
Yeah, she’s happier now
See her smile and say “come on”

Let’s dance all night
Let’s dance all night
Dance all night
Yeah, I think she’ll be alright

I ain’t lonely now
Yeah, I got someone I love
Someone I think about
Someone for me to take care of

Thank you, Professor Adams.

Ryan Adams – How Do You Keep Love Alive

Ryan Adams – Dance All Night

www: Ryan’s official website and MySpace.

A longtime passion of mine, Peter Gabriel is the epitamy of reinvention and longevity. If I could make my music career last half as long as his, well, that would be really weird, because I don’t have a music career.

I’ve posted about PG (as I like to call him (but he’s not a big fan of me calling him it – that crazy PG!)) before, and while there’s always been a few songs of his that have tempted me to post, there’s one that pushed me over the edge.

However, I am warning you now – I’ve always found Gabriel’s voice is divisive, to be honest. There are those that love it, those that tolerate it, and those that turn it off, and I have a feeling that this won’t be the most popular post I’ve ever made. But hey – if you love Get Your Melancholy On (and, by extension, therefore love me)…

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Beginning with a string section that wouldn’t feel out of place in a big room of string sections, Peter’s immediately recognisable voice intones through the first verse.

However, at 0:45, a beautiful vocal switch occurs, and growing violins swell until, at 1:32, a second vocalist adds another depth to the proceedings.

And of course, there’s those lyrics…

The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It’s full of charts and facts and figures and instructions for dancing
But I
I love it when you read to me
And you
You can read me anything

The book of love has music in it
In fact that’s where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb
But I
I love it when you sing to me
And you
You can sing me anything

The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It’s full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we’re all too young to know
But I
I love it when you give me things
And you
You ought to give me wedding rings
And I
I love it when you give me things
And you
You ought to give me wedding rings
And I
I love it when you give me things
And you
You ought to give me wedding rings
You ought to give me wedding rings

Peter Gabriel – The Book of Love

www: Peter’s official website and MySpace.