With this second entry in my Feel Good Song series, I'm already noticing a trend of one-hit wonders. Does this say something about how the music industry treats cheerful artists and their art? (And perhaps this conversation could be extended to all art--film, fiction, poetry, theater, etc.) Such a discussion about the aesthetics of joy is probably best saved for another day. The more pertinent discussion to have is about Hellogoodbye's single hit, "Here (In Your Arms)." The track mixes emo-boy nerdy-ness with a solid hook and infectious beat.
When "Here (In Your Arms)" peaked at 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006, the musical landscape was very different; TRL still aired and had a grip on teen tastes, and what we call "emo" was very much a part of mainstream pop--that is, emotional and sometimes heartbroken music by sensitive guys with strong pop sensibilities had a hold on teenage and young adult listeners. (I was in college at the time, and this was the music we listened to at parties and while we studied.) What made Hellogoodbye an interesting presence in this scene was their self-deprecating humor and their interest in using vocoders and dance-beats--elements that are a magical mixture on "Here (In Your Arms)."
The track is all earnest romance. While "Here (In Your Arms)" does lack some of the band's signature comedy, the production allows a lightness in the song that might have otherwise been created by jokes. The filtered vocal hovers above the beat during the intro, before the backing thickens as the song works it's way to the chorus. By the time hook hits, we are in full-on dance-mode, as the images about wanting to be in a lover's arms and kissing roll out for the listener. It's a frothy piece of summer pop, the kind you might make-out to in the backseat of your car. "Here (In Your Arms)" is kind of music that makes you feel young and full of hope.