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๐—•๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฑโ€™๐˜€ ๐—•๐—ถ๐˜ - this week: Inspiration - Charles Connolly

Updated: Mar 16

This week Brad (A.K.A. Mercury Teardrop) steps in as Charles Connolly takes a few days of well deserved vacation time.


๐™„๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ - ๐˜พ๐™๐™–๐™ง๐™ก๐™š๐™จ ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ก๐™ก๐™ฎ


Brad does his bit...


First, important business to get done right out of the gate.ย  Iโ€™m stepping in for Mr. Charles Connolly this week who is on vacation and deserves our birthday wishes as he crests the gnarly knoll that is the big โ€œ40โ€.ย  For those of us that have been there, our advice to Charles is certainly welcomed in the comments of this post.ย  My permission to not hold backโ€ฆ now, letโ€™s get into it, shall we?


Ah, the musical pilgrimage of a songwriterโ€”where every note is a homage to those who shaped our sonic landscape. It's as if the essence of each decade finds its way into our very being, resonating with the cosmic rhythm of human existence itselfโ€ฆ Ok, a bit of a cheesy starting point, but hear me outโ€ฆ. As I listen on repeat to โ€œInspirationโ€, there are many neurons firing that are lighting up the special parts of my brain only reserved for the finest sonic tapestriesโ€ฆ ok, itโ€™s a fab song, but letโ€™s go back in time a bit firstโ€ฆ


In all seriousness, I did have the distinct privilege of growing up in the 70s and 80s when there were so many musical innovators creating some of the best music of our modern age to date.ย  If you are like me, you look up to those icons who were (or are) the best songwriters of our generations and learn everything you can from them. Now, full disclosure here, for me growing up, it wasn't at all about mainstream popโ€”it was about diving deep into the obscure, the unconventional, the avant-garde. As a teen attending High School in the early 80s, I chose The Cramps over Madonna, The Cure over Michael Jackson, and Bauhaus over Bananarama (yes, there was actually a band called Bananarama).ย  In 1983 it was somewhat acceptable, but mostly just cool to โ€œlet yer freak-flag flyโ€, and music, clothing and outrageous hair were key variables in the social equation to express yourself and find like-minded friends. It was a time when being different was celebrated, where music and self-expression intertwined seamlessly; Or at least it did for me.ย  Damn, I miss the 80s!


During these years, music was my constant companionโ€”a soundtrack to life itself. From browsing record stores to immersing myself in the electric, intoxicating atmosphere of concerts, every moment was infused with the magic of sound. And who could forget the mixtapes, meticulously curated to enhance every experience and mood.ย  I had a mixtape for every occasion, even โ€œHouseworkโ€.ย  That one I remember loading up with Sex Pistols, DOA, Dead Kennedys and other punk, just to drive my parents nuts!).ย  Regardless of the occasion, there was a mixtape for it; It was a social and cultural way to identify. However, there were some songs and bands I loved, that, given my peers' music snobbery, were considered ultra-lame.ย  Despite the teenage social doctrine of 'coolness,' there were always those forbidden tracksโ€”the pop hits or the classicsโ€”that were off limits for goths, punks and new-romantics. Therefore, to stay โ€œcoolโ€, I often had to feign less enthusiasm for albums like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Dark Side of the Moon, and Houses of the Holly, and keep my love of these records from my youth to myself.ย  I firmly admit to secretly loving Abba songs, but never having the confidence to openly admit itโ€ฆ silly adolescent brain!


Looking back, I share snippets of my formative experiences with music because they matter. ย  Each of us is shaped by our individual relationship with music in our own unique way.ย  My personal experiences made me evolve into a person today that deeply loves music and appreciates a good song, no matter the genre or โ€œcool factorโ€โ€ฆ and like Prince, The Ramones, Elton John, or Tears for Fears, recognizing the common thread that ties all good songs together is simple: it is excellent song writing combined with a moving performance.ย  The master songwritersโ€™ ability to craft melodies and lyrics that resonate deeply with audiences is what sets them apart as legends.ย  We, as aspiring creators, find sparks of inspiration in their work, striving to learn even a fraction from their genius and infuse our own art with the same level of passion and creativity. I truly believe as humans we are all connected through the energy of life, and music is one of the ways we all share in this energy.ย  We have likely all experienced how music can move us to tears, make us scream with excitement, and even thrash around at times.ย  Music is a whole body-mind experience that, in itself, is inspiring.ย  Does music inspire life, or does life inspire music?ย  Or both?ย 


I sometimes think of the song writing process as โ€œthinking in soundโ€. If this is the case, what was Mr. Charles Connolly โ€œthinkingโ€ when he wrote "Inspiration"?ย  At first listen, this is a track that combines so many sonic elements with impressive song construction.ย  Upon repeat listening, the meticulous details of the recording creep into every corner of the headphones. From the first haunting notes, Charlesโ€™ meticulous attention to detail is evident, crafting a soundscape that envelops listeners in a sweet โ€˜candy-wrapperโ€™ of lush musical textures combined with a timeless vocal performance. The production quality is simply top-notch, with intricate layers of instrumentation that create a fully immersive experienceโ€”making it essential to grab your Hi-Fi headphones and sink into the depths of the songโ€™s meandering embrace.ย  On this ride, the listener feels darkness and light, moves fast and slow, dreams big and small, breathes in and out, and falls up and down.ย  โ€œInspirationโ€ is a movement that beautifully depicts the ubiquitous and ephemeral nature of the things that provide inspiration in our lives.ย  Iโ€™m not sure at all if Charles intended the song to be existential, but I feel there is a tension in the lyrics between desperation and possibility. As the score moves from minor to major, so does the sense of possibility move to the forefront - a stunning pairing of the music aligning so perfectly with the spirit of the song.ย  I believe few artists can truly capture this emotional milieu without overthinking or coming across as clichรฉ. Charles does this so well. Each line of the lyrics feels like a profound introspection, offering poignant insights into the complexities of our thoughts and feelings, and the relentless pursuit of one's deepest dreams โ€“ there is a tension there and the listener feels it. While the general theme of inspiration may seem commonplace and redundant, Charles infuses it with such authenticity and sincerity that it feels utterly revitalised in the context of this song.


On the musical and production side of the equation, the track soundsย great.ย  Iโ€™m never sure of Charlesโ€™ true inspirations, but given his vintage, Iโ€™m convinced he was brought up on a good diet of 80โ€™s and 90โ€™s pop. ย  When I say our collective influences in our formative years make up our musical DNA, what I really mean is that the influences of those who inspire us today, have baked into them, the inspirations of past artists, tracing way back.ย  There are memetics at play in how culture is influenced by music in every generation and, regardless of Charlesโ€™ musical diet as a youngster, the lineage of influences of his heroes, intentionally or unintentionally, comes through on this track. When I listen, I hear the influence of George Michael, Michael McDonald (Doobie Bros.), Kate Bush (brilliant), Supertramp, 10CC,ย  Hall and Oats, Steely Dan, and many more.ย  This song is completely original and so familiar at the same time. ย  Andโ€ฆ Charles, that should be taken as a compliment.ย 


And, as you, Charles, crest the tsunami that is โ€œ40โ€, just know you have given the world a piece of yourself in this track that will undoubtedly inspire others.ย  At the very least, it screams โ€œPossibilityโ€โ€ฆ and I love that!


Listen to ๐™„๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Spotify playlist HERE!

Listen to ๐™„๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Apple Music playlist HERE!


Follow ๐˜พ๐™๐™–๐™ง๐™ก๐™š๐™จ ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ก๐™ก๐™ฎ on Instagram HERE!

Follow ๐™ˆ๐™š๐™ง๐™˜๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฎ ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™™๐™ง๐™ค๐™ฅ on Instagram HERE!

Follow ๐˜พ๐™๐™–๐™ง๐™ก๐™š๐™จ ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ก๐™ก๐™ฎ on TwiX HERE!

Follow ๐™ˆ๐™š๐™ง๐™˜๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฎ ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™™๐™ง๐™ค๐™ฅ on TwiX HERE!


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Edward Corrado
Edward Corrado
3ๆœˆ22ๆ—ฅ

Brad, great review! I think you can have a career as a reviewer if you want one. As for Charles, the best part of 2024 is that we get a new song from him every month. Great song Charles, but aren't they all!

ๆŒ‰่ฎš

Old is better.. Love this!

ๆŒ‰่ฎš
Charles Connolly
Charles Connolly
3ๆœˆ22ๆ—ฅ
ๅ›ž่ฆ†

Hah! Famous last words... ๐Ÿ˜‚

ๆŒ‰่ฎš

E-Zone
E-Zone
3ๆœˆ17ๆ—ฅ

No cap, Right from time l have loved Charles music renditions. They are so put together such as this inspiration tune. More grace Charles Connolly and well composed review Teardrop ๐Ÿฅฐ

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Charles Connolly
Charles Connolly
3ๆœˆ22ๆ—ฅ
ๅ›ž่ฆ†

Thank you for all that!

ๆŒ‰่ฎš

Caitlin Goulet
Caitlin Goulet
3ๆœˆ17ๆ—ฅ

Truly brilliant. Effortless, pure, and yet clearly intentional vocal delivery. Thereโ€™s so much cool stuff going on with the songwriting and production, a handful of listens just scratching the surface. Looking forward to unwrapping this a bit more with each listen.

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Charles Connolly
Charles Connolly
3ๆœˆ17ๆ—ฅ
ๅ›ž่ฆ†

Oh wow! Caitlin, this is amazing to read. That you got this much out of the song. Thank you!

ๆŒ‰่ฎš

Great work Brad! Thanks for the write-up, I enjoyed reading it!

ๆŒ‰่ฎš

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