I've listened to SOS a bunch of times now. There are a lot of things I like about this song:
- The bass part is cool, particularly in the choruses.
- I like the energy and the bouncy feel.
- I like the clean and uncluttered production, with its emphasis on guitars and what sounds like a mandolin or ukulele. Cedic wrote, "Compare Son of Solomon to IDWIL. I didn't have much of a problem with the latter before, but when you put them side by side it sounds awful. Everything is too loud and the vocals are obviously fixed up in production a lot." I still like IDWIL a lot, but I agree with cedic's point that IDWIL has much more of a (over-)produced sound, whereas SOS (and SofS) are more "organic" and minimally produced, which I personally favor.
- I like the verses and also the pre-chorus ("Blame it on..."). The pre-chorus builds nicely, leading to what should be the climax of the song.
Unfortunately, I find the chorus underwhelming and anticlimactic. The chorus is four lines:
Each line has the nearly same three-note melody, so the chorus is basically just the same thing repeated four times, with the same backing music. For me, this doesn't really work. Either lines 2 and 4 should have a noticeably different melody, or they should have varied lines 3 and 4 with a different melody or different underlying chords. As it is, it doesn't go anywhere -- it doesn't build, and there's no sense of tension and resolution. It just... repeats.
I think they were trying to go for an anthemic feel, much like what U2 does so well, but I don't think they achieve it. GaelleF wrote, "Way too simple, repetitive... overly simple and almost simplistic," and that's my feeling as well.
I'm not necessarily bashing simple music; simple music can be very powerful (again, U2 are good at this -- listen to "Bad", which runs 6 minutes on two chords and a very simple melody). It's possible to have a good chorus with three notes. But in SOS, these particular three notes don't amount to a compelling melody for me.
Sergio and Servantez have also said that the melody seems boring or dull. BallerinaTay wrote, "On this song I enjoy the melody of the verses a lot better. That chorus. So bland... Something is desperately missing." I agree with all of this, and I think what's missing is any sense of variety or movement or building to something. The song needs more of a high point.
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