Registered: 1429831436 Posts: 485
Reply with quote #1
I wanted to add a few thoughts about this song from No Pier Pressure, and although I've seen just a few hints here and there of others who feel the same way, I wanted to get on the soap box for a moment and say how great of a single this song could be. In my opinion.
Of all the tracks on the album, I keep coming back to this one again and again. On an album full of melodies and phrases that stick in my memory - along the lines of "The Right Time" whose chorus hook I keep singing at random times since I first heard it - "Guess You Had To Be There" stands out at this point as perhaps the most catchy song of them all. The groove, the performances, the sound, the whole production of the song in general just hits a grand slam to my ears. It brings back some of the signature elements of the 1960's classic productions, and with that I'm thinking of the shuffle beat which drives the record as well as the traded-off lead vocals. It's that hook of hearing two lead voices that marked so many records we call 'classic', yet this time we have Brian and Kacey adding a new twist to that element on several different levels. I honestly expected a more country-specific sound before hearing the track, considering Kacey's involvement. But when I listened, from the first full play it felt like an updating of that classic hit-making style with all the elements hitting on all cylinders. There is nothing I'd change. It reminds me of a song and groove like Help Me Rhonda, where you have hooks in the vocals, the instrumental backing, and within the groove itself. It makes you want to sing along, clap along, and it puts a smile on your face. And, perhaps not ironically, both Rhonda and "Guess..." are not necessarily upbeat lyrics or subject matters. Yet, the sound and performances are so full of a joyous sound in the music itself, maybe it's like Ticket To Ride or I Wish It Would Rain, where the music ends up putting the smile on our faces despite a lyric which would be considered sad or down in some ways. And the guitar solo is terrific. I hear all kinds of crossover potential, in several formats and genre/demographics. Everything from country to AC to all those in between. It's a great record, I think, that deserves to be heard by as many people as possible. I labeled it an "instant classic" as soon as I heard it, perfect for radio play and single status, and I can't see anything changing my mind anytime soon... __________________
Registered: 1410705015 Posts: 1,405
Reply with quote #2
It's funny, I've been spending more and more time with NPP playing in my car, in awe of the beauty that seizes me in the compositions and the harmonies, being seduced by "On the Island", wrapped up in the delicious melancholia of "Last Song"...but what I hear in "Guess You Had to Be There" is a song that lifts me up to a joyous, fun place that makes facing the day easier.
While there isn't a particular similarity between the music of the monster hit "Happy," by Pharrell Williams that seized the world, there is that same irresistible hook that throws me into a place where it's just a joy to be alive and facing another day, cares are abandoned and I can't wait to get moving. Yet, what "Guess You Had to be There" adds is the wry chuckle of knowing the reality of life and dancing ahead anyway. It "nudges" you with the irony and reminds you that "so what, you're spirit is unstoppable." GYHTBT feels like a song people can "use" in their daily lives that's better than a pill or a latte to keep them going. I think you have spotted the monster hit if it can just find it's launching spot in this world of media spinning at warp speed. Maybe Capitol folks know how to find that groove, a TV or movie theme perhaps, something to make it really grab the world's psyche?
Registered: 1404256009 Posts: 2,996
Reply with quote #3
I'm of two minds on Guess You Had to Be There.
On one hand, I think the song has major hit potential. On the other hand, it's my least favorite song on the album. To my ears, it sounds the least like a Brian Wilson track. It sounds, to me, more like a Kacey Musgraves song, featuring Brian Wilson. If I'm going to go for a collaboration with a current artist, I'd go with Saturday Night. Even though the vocals are Nate Ruess, it still feels like a Brian Wilson song to me. In fact, I feel a vibe similar to Strange World from TWGMTR.
Registered: 1341002622 Posts: 184
Reply with quote #4
I like the song but I just don't think it is poppy enough for mainstream radio and it's not country enough for country radio. Maybe as an adult contemporary single (like "Your Imagination") but not sure where that would play at except grocery stores, lol. I actually think "Saturday Night" has more potential to be a single but what do I know.
Registered: 1341562486 Posts: 1,616
Reply with quote #5
"Guess You Had To Be There" is probably my favorite guest artist track off of NPP. Although "Saturday Night" comes in at a very close second. With the right push I think both could have the potential to chart as singles. But in the end I guess it's pretty much up to Capitol as to whether or not there will be anymore singles off of NPP.
The interesting thing about "Guess You Had To Be There" is if you just casually listen to it the song sounds like happy sunshine pop. But if you pay attention to the lyrics the song is somewhat downbeat.
Registered: 1341007891 Posts: 3,175
Reply with quote #6
Mr. guitar, et al., - "Saturday Night" seems single-ish if it were made with proper video (live version here). Is there an adult contemporary video channel now OR could a Nate Ruess walking down HB be enough to carry it?
Second choice (for me) would "The Right Time" and then "Guess You Had To Be There". This, all to support the album, the movie release and the upcoming tour! Is this Capitol's call? __________________ A diamond necklace played the pawn...
Registered: 1404256009 Posts: 2,996
Reply with quote #7
Nate Ruess's videos have been on VH1 on a fairly regular basis (they play videos in the morning) over the last three years with fun, his duet with Pink, and his solo stuff.
Although, to be perfectly honest, I'm completely confused as to what it takes to be a Top 40 single these days. Last spring that song "Come With Me Now" by Kongos was a big hit, but that wasn't very poppy.
Registered: 1402749812 Posts: 505
Reply with quote #8
Takes accepting to be an afterthought after Rihanna and Kanye West.
Registered: 1404256009 Posts: 2,996
Reply with quote #9
I'd say that's true about 99% of the stuff on Top 40 radio these days.
Every now and again, I'm out and about, and I hear that piece of crap with Kanye, Rihanna, and the artist formerly known as Paul McCartney. When I hear that, I'm very thankful that Brian's people chose a much better group of younger artists to collaborate with. Even though the Sebu and Kacey Musgraves songs are my least favorite on the album, they're still much better than just about everything on Top 40 radio.
Brian's The Greatest
Registered: 1341020582 Posts: 175
Reply with quote #10
Guitar Fool, I felt exactly the same upon hearing GYHTBT the first time. an amazing song that I appreciate even more upon every listening. I did hear Saturday Night on The Loft on XM yesterday-sounded great! They're giving NPP some much deserved air time!