Pop songs that start complex and end simple.
October 14, 2017 2:42 PM   Subscribe

There are many many pop/rock songs that start out simple and go getting more complex, adding layers, instruments, harmonies, rhythms, doubling and tripling vocals, until reaching a climax of sorts. I'm looking for the opposite: songs that start complicated and become simpler, until ending with a minimum of elements. Does such a beast exist?
posted by signal to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

Are songs that do both (build complexity, then lose complexity) okay?
posted by clawsoon at 3:26 PM on October 14, 2017

Response by poster: clawsoon: I'm looking for songs that start complex and lose it as they go along, not ones that build up and then release.
posted by signal at 4:27 PM on October 14, 2017

Yes's "Starship Trooper", although it is a climax of sorts, the coda is pretty straightforward compared to the rest of the song. (less complex, not less layered)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:31 PM on October 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

The radio/music video edit of Darren Hayes's Stupid Mistake does this (the album version has the complexity return in the final chunk).
posted by divabat at 7:53 PM on October 14, 2017

This may be a stretch, but I think "Space Travel is Boring" by Modest Mouse captures some of that urgent-to-deflated spirit.
posted by elephantsvanish at 10:04 PM on October 14, 2017

Jimmy Eat World - Goodbye Sky Harbor starts out like a fairly standard alt.rock song, builds up, then simplifies in a very extended way (over 16 minutes)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:16 PM on October 14, 2017

There are songs that repeat the chorus over and over at the end, which is a simplification of a sort. Me and Bobby Mcgee is one.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:30 AM on October 15, 2017

You might look at some live versions of songs, especially at the ends of sets/shows. Pearl Jam does this with Yellow Ledbetter: they start playing normally, then everybody drops out and it's just Mike McCready a playing guitar solo at the end. And they watch him.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:06 PM on October 15, 2017

How about Mother of Pearl by Roxy Music? Has that loud abrasive beginning the first third or so and then calms way down.
posted by silverstatue at 7:40 PM on October 16, 2017

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