Thursday, September 17, 2009

Against All Odds

I loved Phil Collins as a kid, I just always have. I think part of it has to do with the fact that I feel like he looks kind of like my dad, but I always liked the intensity of his music. Maybe it was foreboding for this week, but the song Against All Odds kept coming up recently and I've always appreciated the song. Now that I'm feeling pretty down, I'm going to wallow a little bit in its sadness.

I can't remember when it was, but I posted in the lasted few months about this episode of This American Life wherein a girl going through a break-up decides that she has to write a break-up song to deal with her grief, and decides that she should talk to Phil Collins about how to go about writing the song, given that she has no real musical background. If you haven't ever listened to the episode, pay the dollar and download it because it's the best episode I've ever heard of the show.

Anyway, in the broadcast Phil explains to the girl some of what went into the writing of the song. It came to him after his first divorce, and is basically him channeling all of his heartache into the lyrics and music. There have been several covers of the song, most notably Mariah Carey (which I'm not posting) and Death Cab for Cutie (which I am posting).

I think that version is pretty cool, but it's so different hearing Phil sing it himself. It's his story, born of his own pain, and you can feel the difference in the way he sings it. I like this live version because it feels so authentic, especially when he messes up on the piano. I think my favorite is how there are parts of the song that he sings, but then there are those moments where he's yelling and you get such a clear sense for the emotion that he's going through.

Sing it Phil...sing it for my sad, sad heart.


Matthew said...

so glad you posted that version by the postal service. i just heard that on sytycd and loved it but didn't know who sang it. just downloaded it!

Laura said...

that was laura, not matt