Music is made for many reasons, some of them creative, driven by integrity, other times…well, not so much. For everyone who is trying to express a personal view of the world there is someone looking for a quick buck, for every outside the box thinker there is a plagiarist, happy to follow a trend or jump on a band wagon. And then you come across songs such as Alan Osborne’s You Are My Home, a song built around the most honest and heartfelt of emotions and nothing less than a declaration of love, writ large and publicly via song and video.
Although he seems to have a wonderfully scatter gun approach towards musical genres, happy to create muscular alt-rock one minute and delicate balladic pop the next, revel in the possibilities afforded through the crafting of original musical statements as well as reworking iconic song, this is probably his most widely accessible song to date. Universally relatable and commercially relevant, perhaps the perfect collision of worlds and a song delivering something which at once seems totally personal and yet also something which we have all felt at sometime in our life, hopefully.
And it is perhaps the simplicity of the song which is the most compelling; low end strings form a bassline, a platform for a minimalist acoustic guitar but it is essentially the words which drive the song. It isn’t just their actual meaning but also their deeper intent and the fact that this declaration is one which comes from a place of pure honesty and intense vulnerability. Even when the beat picks up in the second half of the song, it is still the wonderful separation and use of space which helps move things along from a musical point of view until it all spirals up into a beautiful crescendo before bowing out. Vocally the delivery is restrained, a soft, gentle whisper in the ear to the intended which matches the emotive musical vehicle which delivers it.
The music business is often a cold and cynical place, one which can seem devoid of real emotion in its frenzied headlong rush towards the fickle and short-lived treasures on offer. But what if there were no monetary gains to be had, no quick buck, no parting with the creative soul for the trappings of materialism. Well, songs like this would still exist for one thing, songs which are all about having something important to say rather than something transient to sell and maybe we have forgotten the real role music used to play before men in suits pulled puppet strings from ivory towers. We should all be thanking Alan Osborne for reminding us of the true power of songwriting.