As songs with universal messages go, here’s one that exists as a timeless and contemporary production at the same time. Essentially a piano and vocal piece with a few bells and whistles of production glitter, it’s surely designed as affirmation of the highest order.
When the chorus arrives with the ‘yeah, you’re different’ lyric, it’s effortlessly anthemic and yet seductively casual at the same time. The vocal leaps up the register in an exultant way that leaves you waiting eagerly to hear it again but doesn’t ever feel like it’s trying too hard. If you’ve ever felt left out, awkward or just plain out-of-kilter, ‘Different’ is definitely for you.
The very human and relentless piano playing is gorgeous, as is the decision to leave in the mouth noises and original tuning, Van Morrison style, gently cuddled in a complimentary reverb. It’s definitely one in the eye for quantising and Melodyne, which is the norm in production-line pop. There are minimal backing vocals, placed with great care to lift the tune at just the right moments.
Lyrically, it’s a wonderful celebration of what it means to be unique. The decision to sing ‘different’ as a distinct three syllable word (as opposed to the usual 2 in pop) cleverly underlines and emphasises the importance and relevance of the message. To be played when you next need a cuddle!