#53 – “All Alone” (1999)
L.K.: Well this shouldn’t take too terribly long.
L.K.: I don’t know, this song qualifies as the bad kind of minimalism to me.
A.S.: Yeah, this does absolutely nothing for me.
L.K.: The main element of the chorus is literally just one repeated note, but there’s nothing else going on harmonically. Apparently this was written really quickly, but it really, really shows it. Unlike Robert Krulwich, I am not amazed by Linnell having written this in about an hour, or less.
A.S.: Yeah, the story of its composition is pretty cool, as Krulwich explained: TMBG were commissioned to write a number of songs for an ABC special about turn-of-the-millennium scientific progress, Brave New World. For this one, Krulwich told Linnell what to write about – “The Ballad of the Lonely Germ” – and he had the song finished “between lunch and dinner.” And I wholeheartedly agree that it shows; it functions in the context of the show, but not so much outside it.
L.K.: The only thing notable about the number is the fact that the band is dressed as farmers when performing it on Brave New World, and they look about as ridiculous as you’d expect them to look, corncob pipes and all.
L.K.: But yeah, musically, lyrically, this was obviously something made very quickly because they were commissioned to write something very specific very quickly.
A.S.: A cool idea, executed I guess as well as it could have been, but not a great song.