Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Faith by George Michael

Have you ever had a friend who was in a mediocre relationship and just stuck with it because she didn’t think there was someone better suited for her out there? Or talked to someone who feels unmotivated to find a job because he doesn’t think that he can get a better gig?

If you don’t think in a positive way that something better can happen, nothing better ever will. You got to believe that you not only deserve something else but that you can get it. You to got to have to strength. You got to have courage and you got to have faith.

George Michael declaration, “Faith” is perhaps his most enduring songs. The best-selling single of 1988, the title track of the best selling album that year “Faith” is a song that continues to resonate in popular music.

Reinventing himself after the break-up of Wham! (most famous for their bubblegum pop hit “Wake Me Up Before Go-Go”), Michael ditched the neon and big hair and reappeared as a modern version of a 1950s rocker.

[btw, the "choose life" t-shirts have nothing to do with abortion, they were statements against suicide.]

With a slick pompadour, tight jeans, leather jacket, and aviator sunglasses, Michaels represented a new cool and “Faith” like his image drew upon music of generations past.

Starting with a musical allusion to religion, the church organ introduction fades in gradually growing into a peak, like a the sunrise slowing bathing a church in light through stained-glass windows. We expect to organ to resolve but instead it ends in a question mark and after a few seconds of silence we have our answer.

In a world of synthesizers and over-production, “Faith” stands out as an anomaly. With sparse instrumentation, guitar, bass, drums, “Faith” sounds more like a 1950s rock song than a late 1980s pop song. This acoustic and transparent instrumentation gives this song soul, drive and passion.

The lyrics are a brilliant internal discussion. It portrays feelings that people have in relationships with honesty. Look at the opening line, “Well I guess it would be nice if I could touch your body. I know not everybody has got a body like you.” There could not a more honest reflection of physical urges.

This conversation plays out throughout the rest of the song as he reflect on the pain that he has felt “time to pick my heat up off the floor” as well as his desire for companionship “well I need someone to hold me.” Michael concludes that even though he feels like he needs something even if it has hurt him, he will hold strong and “wait for something more.” And that at the end of all, he’s “gotta have faith.”

There’s something beautiful, a feeling like the sun is shining about this “Faith.” In this song there’s hope, a new beginning, reminding us that even though it’s scary to take a chance, it’s also exciting. There is strength and courage reflected in this song through Michael’s vocals but it’s the pure joy that resonates, that reminds us that faith is something to be celebrated, something that inspires us. And that in the rough time in our live you simply got to have faith.

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