The songs on this album were recorded at the same time as those on my album Hotstuff (soon to be released). My concept was that the Simple Words album would be a bunch of slower love songs. However, in the final analysis, I decided a few upbeat songs were needed and did some swapping around with Hotstuff.
For the first time, the album title is also a song! Simple Words was written in the same 'keyboard phase' that produced When I Was Young (from the Hopeful/Mixed Emotions collection) and has some keyboard sounds which I really like. It's a song of how we can struggle to express ourselves in relationships, with statements like "I don't know what love's about" and a cry of "I don't want you anyway" as a rebellion against such difficulties.
I love Movin' On Again - it's a really laid back track (about a pretty laid back guy) with some nice chord changes and flute-like fills which were originally visualised as trumpet or similar. I particularly like the outro, with more nice chord changes and the flute-like fill. It's a joy to play.
Everywhere You Go is an odd one. Developed on music software (hence the very synth-led arrangement), the lyrics are perhaps secondary which is why they're a little bizarre! But I guess it shows that I'm capable of doing something different.
Cliché is a favourite of mine because it plays well as a solo guitar song - the arrangement here complements it with a bit of bass and mandolin, plus an oboe(?) solo. It's about a girl who is unlucky in love, possibly due to her own enthusiasm.
Anything is, I think, the oldest song on this album. This is probably my third recording of it, with a chorused acoustic guitar and piano, backed by a synth and featuring a heavyish electric guitar solo - the song is supposed to sound quite 'big' which I think I've achieved fairly well.
Kay is not about anyone, despite being named after a woman I knew. It's quite easygoing, and my favourite part is the solo (classical guitar) and middle section which again has some unusual chord changes, making it more interesting.
In Your Life is also an old song. Acoustic guitar and clavinet interact at the start, but the song builds up to a full arrangement with synth/string sounds and backing vocals. A bit like Simple Words, it queries what love is and how to find it. Rarely for me, I use the same chorus lyrics every time - "I don't want to be in your memory - that's no place for me - I want to be In Your Life."
Next we have Close To Your Heart, which is a nice little acoustic guitar 'folk' style song.
Love Like This was written on acoustic guitar but here I've tried to make it more interesting with electric guitars and an intermittent bass line to give it a different sound. It's not my best production but has some good moments like the key change for the solo.
I'm back to my James Taylor influence with Right Next To You, where I turn a few popular metaphors upside down. Lyrically the song is about the frustration of "being so close, but not right next to you" and descends into alcoholism! Musically I decided to keep the acoustic guitar on its own for the first verse and chorus, but then a full arrangement crashes in from the second verse.
One Night Stand is a newer song and not what the title implies. I like the guitar fills on this (mirrored by the bass line), and the 12-string guitar solo. The slightly cheesy opening words "Beautiful baby" are influenced by David Bowie's use of the same term on his classic Love You Till Tuesday. It's a fairly straightforward love song, though I'm proud of the second chorus where I use the perfectly-phrased line "doesn't matter what you look like, but I am not blind."
Rebecca, like Kay earlier on the album, is not really about anyone. She was a very cute girl I encountered, who hated being called Becky. Therefore I wrote a song where I called her Becky! The arrangement is light, with some percussion sounds I particularly like, and a nice synth sound in the chorus/middle section.
Take Me Where I Want To Go is based around some acoustic turns I discovered and lyrically doesn't carry much of a message. Lots of guitars on this, although my recent version on YouTube uses guitalele as the main instrument.
Everything is very strong musically and lyrically. Quite slow and sad, acoustic guitar is the main instrument but keyboards provide support. It's about never finding the right moment with someone, and saving up all your thoughts and feelings (everything), almost to the point of giving up.
The album closes with the more upbeat (I Wish You Were) Here Tonight. I like the pace of this song and the 'fit' of the lyrics. The rhymes may be obvious, but they're perfect. I've just released a version on YouTube with a slightly different arrangement which you can watch and read about here.