Monday, August 10, 2015

Song of the Day #180 - Dr. Dre - All In a Day's Work (ft. Anderson .Paak and Marsha Ambrosius)

Only type of living I know!

Again, too lazy to find a reliable video source for this one. Also I can't promise the next 13 days won't just be the rest of this album. Right now I feel the nexus of my focus is on this and the next track, yesterday's SotD "Darkside/Gone", but I can feel it shift slowly towards the powerful trio of "Satisfaction", "Animals", and "Medicine Man". Oh my lord though at the same time it feels like I might just never stop listening to this song, and only the beat for "Gone" feels strong enough to pull me away.

Is this not a perfect song? Can anyone come up with any way to improve it? But probably it felt pretty perfect at several other stages in development, y'know? Like if you remove any random group of elements from this song it still feels pretty damn complete. Like starting with the beat - we get this awesome, uhh... what is that? A harmonium or something? It's bugging me a little. I know there's another song with a beat that starts a lot like this. Or maybe it's a dadrock song? Maybe it's even a sample? I don't know. And like... I don't really care either? Usually this sort of thing drives me crazy but here it's like whatever I'll just listen to this.

Same with Anderson .Paak's godly vocal work... I'm sure I've heard this sort of style before, with the echo, the talking over himself, the speeding up at times... all of these techniques have a sort of really intimate familiarity to them, a sort of immediateness of understanding, and a really exciting feeling of anticipation. I can't remember exactly what other songs I'm thinking of, but it doesn't matter, because I have this one. Ahh, this song is so dynamic, it feels like every section is the most clutch, the big escalation, the all-out one, but then they top it again! The way Anderson and Dre layer off each other is so addictive, the way each element is emphasized in turn... the active and bassline, the extended outro of just those perfect skittery drums, everything is so well done, so professional, and so well utilized...

And what better message to deliver with such dynamic professionalism: the value of hard work! Starting with an opening monologue from Jimmy Iovine, himself basically a billionaire, claiming that his success came as a result of, not in spite of, his feeling that he had to work harder than the rest. Then we get Anderson .Paak, an avid Dre-fanboy growing up (but who wasn't?) who kept up the grind long enough to get on this track with him and speak from Dre's perspective. It's hard, yeah, that's emphasized: "Born and raised in the belly of the beast", "See if it was you you woulda killed yourself by now"... but at the end, you're in the triple comma club, you're 100 floors up, you did it, you're basically the biggest success you could possibly be, you made it all from nothing, and what's left to do? Obviously you go back to work. It's the only type of living you know. For better or worse. And when it leads to masterpieces like this, kinetic and addictive bangers with a world of depth and meaning in them, you gotta think it's mostly for the better.

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