Music Review //
Jon Stancer
"These Arms (Won't Let You Go)"


The song "These Arms (Won't Let You Go)" is unique in the sense that it does not follow the traditional verse/chorus/verse style of songwriting but rather seems to start off quieter and then build into something larger and louder.   When it first begins, Jon Stancer has only piano keys accompanying his voice.  This gives off a sound not too much unlike what you might think of from The Beatles, Ben Kweller, Phantom Planet and New End Original.   It is just so pure and beautiful within the harmonies.

As we get further into the song, beats begin to come into the background but they do so softly.  This doesn't make it feel like hip hop or anything pop as much as it seems like a heartbeat and it seems like it is there in such a natural setting.  This also begins to open things up, to slowly transition this sound from one of piano and vocals only to something much larger.  That shift from quiet to loud doesn't just happen like the flip of a switch but rather this is what helps to bring it all about.

When the song finally does kick in, it feels as if it is this huge pop rock number with more of an emphasis on the rock side of it.    To some extent, I do feel as if this gradual shift in intensity is done so to match the lyrics which go with the sound.  The idea of not letting go just becomes harder the longer that you do it, both in the physical sense where you have your arms wrapped around someone but also in an emotional sense when you need to forget someone and move on but can't.  

One of the things which kind of throws me off when listening to this song is how through the progressions it can feel like either the beginning of an album or the end of an album.   When considering an album opener I am reminded of "Shades Of Grey", which opened up the album "Composure" for Waking Ashland.   However, to close out an album I think of "Better Than This", which was the last song on "Thriller" by New End Original.   Either way, this song needs to be the start or end of something; there is no in between.


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