Daily Song Study

Gin Blossoms – 29

In songs on January 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

People love a good tragic artist story. The one that has followed the Gin Blossoms around for years is that of Doug Hopkins, a founding member and fine songwriter troubled by various demons, who was fired just prior to his band’s big breakthrough in 1992, which typically was made possible by two songs he penned. A year later, he killed himself.

A tragedy, yes. But…

As tuneful as those hits were, it should be noted that some of the best songwriting on that same album was done by Jesse Valenzuela, including today’s study.

It’s an excellent piece of jangle-pop, much in the vein of Tom Petty and the Byrds. The melody is immensely singable, the lyrics reflective, the arrangement sparkling. Why it wasn’t a hit is beyond me. But many things are beyond me, including the precise combination of people that turns a good thing great. Valenzuela yet lives, but the band’s tunes have diminished nonetheless in Hopkins’ absence. Something about the whole and the sum of its parts, perhaps.

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