Best 1-2-3 Punch

29Apr10

What album has the best 1-2-3 Punch?

That is, what album has the most impressive arrangement of Tracks 1, 2, and 3–an arrangement that hooks the listener and predisposes them to register rave reviews (even if Tracks 4 and on are disposable) ?

Within these first 3 songs, the musicians attempt to declare the album as worthy of your time. Those who don’t like what they find in these 3 tracks will not likely give the rest of the release a fair listen.

So, that leaves the question: what is a 1-2-3 Punch formula that works?

Punch that works.

It is not just a matter of stacking 3 high-quality songs at the beginning and calling it good. 3 fast and catchy songs in a row might cancel each other out or exhaust the listener rather quickly. Similarly, 3 long, slow-building epics in a row would be an album-crushing mistake. As with any movie, the flow becomes very important to maximize enjoyment.

My favorite 1-2-3 Punch can be found on Broken Social Scene’s You Forget it in People and I believe that it employs the most sure-fire formula, as described below.

Ah, the glory daze.

ONE FORMULA THAT WORKS:

Track 1 – “The Tension Builder” – This track builds some tension and sets the mood. It is slower and more ambient. It may be instrumental or may include vocals, but it does not have a traditional verse-chorus structure.

Track 2 – “The Explosion” – This track explodes forward like a race horse out of the gates and shows the musicians at their boldest and most expressive. It has a faster tempo and provides the ‘release’ following Track 1’s build.

Track 3 – “We Got This” – A mid-tempo, memorable piece that shows the musicians in masterful song-crafting form. It is their chance to proclaim: “We got this… We know what we’re doing.” The verse-chorus structure may help here but is not required. This song may function, either formally or informally, as the album’s single.

To hear this 1-2-3 Punch in action, go ahead and stream You Forget it in People here.

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4 Responses to “Best 1-2-3 Punch”

  1. 1 Andrew

    That also happens to include KC accidental! my favorite of their songs which they closed their set with when I saw them at Rothbury last summer. solid choice!

  2. 2 ck

    You’ll notice that Broken Social Scene’s new album, “Forgiveness Rock Record”, follows this pattern as well with “World Sick”, “Chase Scene”, and “Texico Bitches”.

    When looking at your post, the 1-2-3 punch I thought of was Brand New’s “Deja Entendu”. It definitely fits into the “Tension Builder/Explosion/We Got This” formula:

    1. Tautou
    2. Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades
    3. I Will Play My Game Beneath The Spin Light

  3. 3 tylersknox

    It’s funny you mention Deja Entendu because that was my leading candidate for favorite 1-2-3 Punch for a little while. It surely does follow the formula! If only I liked “I Will Play My Game” just a tad bit more…

    • 4 ck

      Whoa! That’s one of my favorite songs on the record (if not THE favorite). It’s perfect!


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