Song of the Week: “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” (Looking Glass)

Last week I talked about “Hooked on a Feeling” in anticipation of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol, 2 coming out. So this week I’m going to talk about a song from the new soundtrack, in anticipation of me seeing it on Tuesday.

Kurt Russell refers to this song as “possibly Earth’s finest composition” in the film, and while I don’t necessarily think it’s the absolute greatest song ever, it is pretty high on the list of great songs.

“Brandy” is a very visual song, if that makes sense. It’s not particularly flowery or anything, but even without details you can picture everything. There’s nothing telling me what the bar or the town look like, but I can still see them pretty clearly. Maybe that’s just me, but honestly I think the song just does a really good job setting just the right ambiance.

What’s really interesting about the song though is that at its core, it’s a song about a girl waiting for her love to return — and it’s in the third-person. There are plenty of songs with similar themes, but the vast majority of longing songs, and love songs in general, are written in the first-person. I think that’s part of the reason why the song seems almost… cinematic, I guess, to me. it’s like being told a story. The music during the verses is soft and comforting, and almost feels like background music, as though it’s there to add depth but isn’t the primary element of the song. And then when the chorus comes, it comes in with the full force of the band and back-up vocals. It’s a very effective structure that achieves a great effect of making the song feel more like an experience than anything else.

Also it’s catchy as hell — that chorus stays in your head for days.

“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” may not the be the greatest composition of all human history, but on an album full of great tracks — like “My Sweet Lord,” “Surrender,” and “Mr. Blue Sky,” to name a few — it stands out as one of the best. It really is a great song, and if you haven’t heard it (which seems pretty hard to pull off — do you actually live under a literal rock?), you should.

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