The Perfect Song

One of the traits that makes me annoying (among so many others) is my pursuit of perfection. I’m not a perfectionist in the traditional sense of the word–abusing myself for every short-coming–but I do seek excellence. (Making me an excellentionist?) In music, that means I edit relentlessly, striving to achieve “balance and beauty” as another song put it.

“The Perfect Song” started out with musings on this topic and then branched into all the other areas of life in which we can imagine something–we can practically taste it–but it remains just out of reach. Perhaps the thing’s elusiveness is part of its allure, our desire propelled by the dream of consummation.

What I like about this song is that it is exceedingly simple but asymmetrically balanced. Each verse ends with a space where a fourth line would ordinarily go; it is both balanced but seemingly incomplete. The same is true of the chorus. “Will it be enough?” repeats three times and feels like it should end with “enough for me” or something else to complete the thought, but instead it revels in the unfulfilled longing that is the very subject of the song.

What I like about the recording is that it counters the intimate simplicity of the vocals with moments of instrumental chaos–just like life. Yet somehow it all holds together: chaos without, order within, and a never-ending search for the perfect song.

1. I’ve been searching for the perfect song.
I’ve been searching for the perfect song.
But it’s been here all along.

2. I’ve spent my days chasing dreams.
I’ve spent my days chasing dreams.
So beautiful, but just out of reach.

Will it be enough?

3. I’ve been trying to find my place.
I’ve been trying to find my place.
But everywhere I go is already taken.

Will it be enough?

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