One of my favorite podcasts, "Strong Songs," created by Kirk Hamilton, started its fifth season, and on Friday posted an episode about "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," a 1985 Tears for Fears song. On most of the podcast's episodes, Hamilton takes one popular song and analyzes it for about 45 minutes to an hour.
I really like the way Hamilton utilizes his musical expertise to meticulously analyze every aspect of the song, clearly explaining to the casual music listener how it works, often playing his own instruments to reproduce components. But what I love about the podcast is Hamilton's enthusiasm for the music, and the joy he takes in revealing its creativity and innovation.
If you look down his list of episodes and find any songs that you love, I can't recommend highly enough spending about an hour in Hamilton's company rolling around in every lyric, beat, note, harmony, and texture of that song.
I don't like but don't love "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (aside from its association with one of my favorite movies, Real Genius), but Hamilton still fascinated me with his explanation of why he thinks it's great, and I certainly came away with a greater respect for it. Some of my favorite episodes have been about songs that I do love, like "God Only Knows," "Wichita Lineman," "I Wish," and "September," and after spending time with them on "Strong Songs," I love and appreciate them even more.