A shaker and a cowbell tap out lonely notes as a man and a woman spar over one word: Tennessee. It seems like a performance art piece, or a poetry slam – but it’s the second of those that is more accurate. Right in time with the drum’s entry, a chocolate-voiced man with a bit of a hobo grate to his voice begins to rap, with a very poetic cadence and bearing.
As the song progresses, its poetic feel begins to take a stronger and stronger presence. Background music and vocals are just that – background. The song becomes a platform for the main singer’s words – he is like a preacher delivering a sermon. “Take me to another place,” he says, “take me to another land. / Make me forget all that hurts me / let me understand your plan.”
It’s as if he is a man sitting on a corner, alone, asking God for guidance with the crumbs of his life.
Download link: Tennessee by Arrested Development