Even with the love for music that I hold deep in my heart, few songs truly invoke a passion that I keep with me through the years. As a young child, I don’t think I ever conceived an idea of good or bad music. I simply enjoyed some songs, and it wasn’t until I reached a certain age- right around getting my first acoustic guitar and beginning concert band- that I realized the importance of great composition in a song.
Every genre of music has different standards in composition. A techno song with a phenomenal guitar solo does not automatically make it a great techno song. While there are many sub-genres of rock, I have firmly believed that rock and roll will always be as such. One band I grew up with was Seether; an “alternative metal” band out of South Africa. It took awhile for my younger self to accept the idea of white Africans. Now that I’ve taken European History, it makes a lot more sense.
When I got my first guitar, I learned a few licks that got boring very quickly. But after hearing “The Gift” by Seether with different ears, I was entranced. The song isn’t soft and beautiful, or hard and emotional. It’s somewhere in between otherworldly and painful. The guitar part that begins the song is mystifying, simple picking rather than power chords or fast strumming. A drum roll leads into the second guitar, which plays a mini-solo that pulls on my heartstrings, leading up to Shaun Morgan’s entrance.
His voice is deep, but it’s not abrasive. It has an edge like sandpaper, but not like sheetrock. I love closing my eyes and letting the music fill my head. Wikipedia gives the song a story- from I don’t know where- but I like just feeling the emotional power of the words. This song is still rock, it’s still “alternative metal”. Shaun’s voice becomes strained on the refrain in the chorus, and you can practically see the feelings that went into writing these lyrics. My favorite vocally and lyrically is the second verse. The lines
“I can’t face myself when I wake up
And look inside a mirror
I’m so ashamed of that thing
I suppose I’ll let it go
Until I have something more to say for me
I’m so afraid of defeat”
carry the weight of the world in them, and I could hear that listening to this song. Even the chorus, the hardest part of the song, is still far away seeming. It’s all very focused on the guitar and vocals, which just makes it more beautiful. I wanted to write this, because I know someone who might enjoy this band.
I think Seether’s got major talent as a band, especially from their first two studio albums. The whole group is extremely talented and there’s nothing cookie-cutter about this band. They’ve performed a wide variety of songs and still stayed inside their own means. Let me know what you think! When you listen to it, though, please close your eyes for at least part of it.
Shaun Morgan playing it unplugged: