At first, it may seem like your usual, two-chord song with a catchy melody. However, most of the interesting stuff lies in the arrangement. In the '70s, you'd probably hear a common disco beat over most of your dance music, but this song the drum kit takes a backseat to the hand percussion, which has its own unique flavor. This, of course comes from the illusion of creating a "tabla" through the use of effects. What the producers of this song did is take what was probably a regular set of congas and run it through a phaser, giving it the appearance of sounding like it is undulating, as a tabla would. However, tablas are very difficult to play, making this a pretty good alternative to the real thing. Then there's the string arrangement, which sounds pretty disco in that it's very bombastic and ornamented. However, there's also a lot of word painting going on in the strings. Ornamentation becomes more frequent and the sequences are played more staccato as the subject matter of the lyrics turn more provocative. Conversely, the string harmonies turn more legato and sweet-sounding as the lyrics turn more romantic. Also, it was an interesting choice to give the guitar and the electric piano the same tonal settings. They're both distorted, have a tremolo effect on them, and are equalized to emphasize the treble frequencies. While these tonal elements are much more apparent on the guitar, subtly adding in the same tone to the keyboards as a complimentary effect. So the next time you're listening to a two or three chord song, listen a little closer to see if they might have put their efforts into some other aspects of the production.
Are there any songs that you feel have more to them than meets the ear?