Morning Song – Faith
Is it shameless cross-promotional marketing of the highest order to get Stevie Wonder to sing a duet with Ariana Grande on “Faith” (whose lyrics give a shout-out to “the boy with the Stevie Wonder swag“) and release this video the same day the family-friendly animated musical Sing opens, so that parents who grew up dancing to their parents’ old Motown 45s will take their children and the grandparents to see the movie?
Yes, but that’s just the beginning of it.
There’s the bass line homage to Funk Brother extraordinaire James Jamerson. There’s the recycling of that cascading vocal-over-pounding-piano riff from songwriter-producer Ryan Tedder’s 2014 One Republic hit, “Love Runs Out” (itself the unacknowledged love child of Kanye’s “Love Lockdown” and Adele’s “Rumour Has It”). There’s enough of a taste of a classic Motown horn section to leave you wanting more. And a gospel chorus of backing harmonies for the big crescendo to the finale. All in less than 3 minutes—just as if it was the old days when that’s all the sound that could faithfully be compressed onto a 7″ vinyl disc.
That’s a bombing-the-rubble-just-to-watch-it-bounce level of shameless.
Shameless…but really, really good.