Friday, January 29, 2016

Terrible Songs That I Like - Dancing On The Ceiling - Lionel Richie

What The Song Is - The title track from Lionel Richie's 1986 hit album. It peaked at number 2 on the American Billboard Charts. It's largely driven by keyboards and a danceable beat. It's firmly entrenched in the '80s pop genre and was accompanied by a music video that was also a huge byproduct of the mid '80s culture. And yes, it did feature Lionel Richie dancing on a ceiling.

Why It's Terrible -  "Oh what a feeling, when we're dancing on the ceiling." There's the chorus. The verses just consist of Richie commenting on how it looks like people are having a good time, having a ball, and how this somehow has either physically or figuratively led to people dancing on the ceiling. And apparently that produces quite a feeling. It's terribly inane and stupid. The rhymes are painfully obvious, corny, and have little to no thought put into them.

Why I Still Like It - I'll be damned if the keyboard chord progression doesn't hook me in. There's something about it, especially during the chorus that draws me right in. The lyric that it supports might be stupid as all hell but the arrangement is surprisingly solid; especially if you like this kind of '80s pop. When the song goes into its final repetitions of the chorus, the keyboards and bass are brought even more to the forefront of the mix, solidifying many of the songs hooks and giving the track a kind of a build, even if it's not a true build up. The 12" extended version of the song makes this even better by drawing out this closing section even more, letting that accentuated bass thump away for even longer.

Final Notes; I've never been a big fan of Lionel Richie; not with The Commodores and certainly not solo. But despite my distaste for his music, I can not and will not deny when a song legitimately grabs my attention....even when it's as terrible as "Dancing On The Ceiling." ...Which I've been listening to on a loop while writing this.

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