The Beatles “Nowhere Man”: Arranging a Lean, Mean Impact Machine

This is the second in a series examining a song from four different dimensions: songwriting, arrangement, performance, and production.  This post focuses on the oft-overlooked aspect of music: arrangement. In the previous post we examined how John Lennon wrote an efficient little pop gem using two well-matched chord progressions and repetitive …

The Beatles “Nowhere Man”: How to Write a Song about Insecurity

This is a first in a series examining a song from four different dimensions: songwriting, arrangement, performance, and production. “Nowhere Man” from Rubber Soul is a brilliant little pop gem with biting commentary on humanity’s tendency to to stick to her/his comfort zones.  The impactfulness of the song is perfectly orchestrated by …

22 Albums That Changed My Life (Part 3)

So we went through the albums that shaped my teenage and early adulthood years — now here come the stuff that shaped me as a grown-up.  Note that these span longer years than the earlier eras, because as an adult my palate has already been formed and it became harder to …

Sophistication Beneath the Pretty Surface: The Beatles “Penny Lane”

So between John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is commonly thought that John is the more experimental, “out there” one while Paul wrote more traditional pop tunes.  While there’s some truth to that, Paul was no stranger to adventurous songwriting, and beneath the sweet façade there are some sophisticated moves going …