There’s something about an R&B song with wah pedal and an every-quarter-note rhythm that I cannot turn off.
I blame TLC’s “Waterfalls.”
That’s the first comparison that came to mind when I heard “Bliss” by Amber Mark, even if her song is much more driving than the languid, trickling feel of “Waterfalls.”
I was already sold on Amber Mark’s 2022 debut full-length, Three Dimensions Deep, long before I hit “Bliss” at track 16. I dig the consistent Neo-Soul groove of the entire record, which backs Mark with tangible instrumental performances blended with programmed beats. I love
It’s “Bliss” that I keep coming back to. There’s something about that hypnotic “wah wah wah wah” and the more-organic drum sound that draws me in and keeps playing in my brain when I wake up in the morning.
Also, not for nothing, I love a chorus that starts with a great “Oh!” full of stacked harmony. And, I love a second verse that messes with your expectations about the song’s rhythm. And I love a song about something commonplace that juxtaposes it with the fantastic or galactic, as she does in the sublime first verse:
Conversations, sexual tension
Taking me to new dimensions
Outer space, nights at my place, oh
You teach me things I never knew
A crush don’t have to leave a bruise
My soul is shining, changed my life with perfect timing
There’s something about “Bliss.” The wah pedal and the every-quarter-note rhythm might have caught my attention in the first place, but there’s so much more than that in Amber Mark’s song.