This is the track that nearly got away. Let me explain:
The song's theme is the power of language and the way that words can be used to justify the unjustifiable and to think the unthinkable. The lyrics came first and I nearly painted myself into a corner with verse one's tight and complex rhyming and alliterative structure. In the past I have often chickened out in a similar situation and used a simpler scheme for subsequent verses. But not this time. I eventually came up with six verses (from which I chose the best four) which stretched the definition of "rhyme" almost to breaking point in places! Well, have you ever tried to find a rhyme for epiphany?
When I made my first rough demo of the song the result was so far from my usual writing style that I was convinced it had no value as a song. I tentatively played it to Mark and Cavan, warning them that it probably wasn't any good and that I would bin it and get on with something else. To my surprise they both looked at me in bewilderment, saying that it was probably the best song I'd ever written. Just shows how much I know!
The final recording is a first for me in that it uses a vocoder (ELO "Mr Blue Sky") and a heavily processed autotune effect (Cher "Believe"). The pulsing synth in the chorus section owes a great deal to the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" (for the techies out there, it's a Korg Polysynth pad modulated with a LFO synced to the tempo of the song) and the piano solo wouldn't be what it is without Bruce Hornsby's influence ("The Way It Is").
One of the things Mark advised me to change in the rough demo was to replace the very artificial (deliberately so) drumbox rhythm track with "real" drums. As usual, I used one of the excellent Abbey Road virtual drum kits and edited every note in the song to give the impression of a young, indy drummer determined to bash his snare drum into extinction.
I've spent more man hours on the video than on any of my others including one marathon 13-hour session. I wanted a cartoon effect for the life performance part of the video and a simple pulsing stage lighting effect synced to the tempo of the song. I enjoyed making multiple copies of myself singing the "Woh ho ho" crowd chorus and I knew from the start that the end minute-or-so (influenced by the likes of Coldplay and Snow Patrol) would need some fireworks. Lots of them!
There, I've almost convinced myself that I like the song now!
Hope you do too!