Ode to the Long Form Song

One of my favorite sub-categories of music is the long-form song; songs that push the 6 or 7 minute run time, some significantly longer offer a more dynamic experience than the average 3 minutes. A longer than standard song forces the listener to get lost in the song and allows time for a more dynamic and evolving story either through the lyrics or the sound. Here are three of my favorite long form songs.

“Troubleman” by Electric Guest – 8 minutes and 48 seconds

“Troubleman” is my long time favorite by Electric Guest. In my interpretation, the song tells a story of a love changing and withering over time. This message is strengthened by the tangible length of the song illustrating the change in time. The length of the song also pulls the listener in and engages them fully into the story of the Troubleman and the girl. The sheer length of it provides the time for enough verses to tell the full story without requiring the music to be sped up risking a disruption in the sound. The length of this song serves as an artistic choice that emphasizes its message. Apart from being a gorgeous song sonically, the lyrics tell a beautiful and sorrowful story.

“It’s Gonna be a Beautiful Night” by Prince – 9 minutes and 2 seconds

This song comes off of Prince’s Sign o’ the Times, and it is only available in the live version, which is just under 10 minutes. This track sounds more poppy than most longer songs, but the length allows the listener to spend the necessary time syncing to the danceable riff and beat of the song.

“Dream Sweet in Sea Major” by Miracle Musical – 7 minutes

Listening to this song will be 7 of the most beautiful minutes of your life. It uses the time it has to guide the listener on a journey through a variety of different sounds and genres (and languages?). I can’t express enough how much I love this song; take the time to listen to it, and you will not be sorry.

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