Earlier this year, A Day Without Love released Diary, a 24 track acoustic album about a number of emotional and sensitive topics (the artist decides POC is a harmful “label” in a theatrical interlude called “Black in DIY”) . Each song is handled fairly similarly; highendonly acoustic guitar and vocals throughout. “You Said” is a simple acoustic ballad from the album that, despite being well intentioned, doesn’t live up to the grandeur of its message. There is something to be said for simple techniques in songwriting and recording, but here, it shows as a poorly crafted track.
Clearly the intention of the song is to talk about performative allyship, but as the lyrics clumsily reveal their fauxprofundity, they fail to contain much nuance in that topic which, now especially, is an all important piece of the attempted conversation. Lines like “but your mind is closed like them” and “I know you don’t like me” come across as immature complaints despite being rooted in such a severe issue. The lack of poetic structure overall saps away most semblances of seriousness, which is disappointing because, again, the conversation that this song prods at is an extremely important one to discuss but the song doesn’t seem to add anything to the conversation.
Musically, the songs simplicity makes sense. The repetitive guitar line works well in the beginning, setting a calm but hurt tone. This is heavily subverted by the fact that this 2 bar riff is repeated throughout the entirety of the song. The musicality of the track suffers heavily from this repetition. The clunkiness of some of the phrasing such as “When the blue screams hands up/ I say don’t shoot me/Please don’t shoot me” also make for an awkward sense of flow. The vocals talk-sing through the song, ending with a final stanza belted in that very particular emo pop sound. This ramp up isn’t visibly paralleled in any instrumentation or production, making it an ineffective and awkward fit.
Succinctly, the song lacks a clear sense of intention. It knows what it wants to talk about, but not really how deep it wants to go, or how to say it. It knows it wants an emotional reaction from listeners, but is just shy of knowing itself well enough to do so, resulting in the song leaving a heavyhanded but limp wristed impact. It’s satisfying to know that artists in the area are starting to touch on these subjects more openly, but without sufficient craft behind it, songs like these cant do service to their topics of discussion.