The mother of one of my best friends recommended I check out this song, “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train. At the time, it was a song I thought I had never heard by a group I never heard of. My friend told me other songs they had done, which didn’t help jog my memory whatsoever. So once I got home to look up these songs, I found that this was a song I heard quite frequently on a commercial or two. What it was advertising, I can’t remember… but I remember the uppity, bright, happy feeling it gave me without really paying that much attention to it. Music has interesting affects on my like that.
After watching the video, which I also enjoyed, I set forth to download the song and I found myself hitting repeat for the greater part of an hour… or more. I later reported to my friend to report to her mother that I loved the song. My friend responded that certain doom would rain upon me if I played the song while she was in the car–she didn’t care for it as much as her mother or I did. Her loss.
In any event, whenever she wasn’t around, I cranked the volume up to 11 and drove around town feeling as sunny and bright as this song does. That’s one of the reasons I love this song. And this light, happy feeling seems to translate into the video with all the brightness that’s shown. Sure there are smudges from the charcoal going on… but discussing the video is slightly different and I’ll get into that in a second.
What stood out to me the most about this song are the lyrics. If you haven’t learned by now, I’m attracted to very creative wordplay and imagery. (The other song I said I wasn’t aware of, I later found out I had heard a few times too: “Drops of Jupiter” which also has great lyrics with imagery.) This song dances on the line of being cheesy and cliché, yet to me, personally, it doesn’t bother me because it’s overall positive and puts me in a really good and optimistic mood. Songs of this nature can be hit or miss… so for me, this was a hit.
A brief breakdown of the song as I interpret it is as follows: this guy has met this girl that he has completely and utterly fallen for. Life is 100% better and brighter since meeting her and he is entranced by everything she does. This has given him confidence and maybe even a sense of self worth. Not that he didn’t have it before, but I think we can all agree that the feeling of mutual acceptance is empowering and encouraging to do better knowing you have strong moral support. And she seems to feel the same way too, as he intends to make her feel just as awesome as she has done for him.
The line I love the most is: The way you move ain’t fair ya know and The way you cut a rug / watching you is the only drug I need. Why? Women are magical. And whether they are dancing, walking, or just being… there’s a natural beauty to their movements and actions that they may or may not be aware of. And it’s not fair that women possess this power… but I’m not really complaining about it either. This song points out many of the aspects this guy really enjoys about this girl and watching her move is one of those highlights that I resonate and agree with… among many of the others he sings about. Some girls I know have a similar track mind like me too.
As for the video, I’ve seen animations like this before a few years ago by some artists with similar walls and charcoal/chalk. I wish I could find it but I’d probably run into a bunch of videos just like it versus the one I’ve actually seen. I also recently saw Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing” video which employs the same animation style but in a very different direction (and nominated for a VMA for Breakthrough video). Also awesome, but I like Train’s song better.
As I was saying, this video really matches the feelings expressed in the song. Plus I’m a sucker for written words, so seeing the lyrics running around everywhere is awesome to me. I have no doubt this video took some time to produce, but its well worth it in my opinion. Furthermore, it has a sweet ending. Awwww.
Question… Why didn’t this get a VMA nod? I have a handful of others I thought stood out… but oh well.