Now that all data is safely transferred to my laptop, we can continue with the regular eliminations.
This next one brings an album down to 7 remaining tracks...
There's more then one dimension
I can fool you and attract attention
Camouflage my nature
Let me demonstrate...
Magic's in the Makeup
Average score: 8.076
10 x 5 (@Music City Queen
, @Mistress of All Evil
, @BEST FICTION
5.25 x 1 (@DJHazey
My score: 8.5
High peak: #27
Low peak: #51
Another "Return of Saturn" era song leaves us, this time it's a standard track "Magic's in the Makeup". At this point, the songs hold a record for the joint highest amount of perfect scores (along with "You Can Do It") Despite that, it looks like a good number of voters were indifferent to it, as I see a lot of 7 for in on the scoring sheet. Interestingly, the song was outside of the top 40 nearly during the entire first half of total voters, but luckily the income of high scores later on slowly and steadily made it reach top 30. You can almost say... magic's in the voters dd
"Magic's in the Makeup" was written by Gwen Stefani and Tom Dumont, as always produced by Glen Ballard, and released as the 5th track on "Return of Saturn". The song was one of the first to be written and demoed for this album, and it was announced as the album's working title back in May of 1998, but was actually among the final tracks to get recorded and finalized, in November 1999 (kinda like my rate/song contest ballots).
Upon release, the song emerged as one of the fan favourites and as a result, got performed a whole lot of times (at least 94 based on the setlists count), regularly during the Return of Saturn tour, Rock Steady tour, and later even got a few live outings in 2009, 2012 and 2015. The often did the song in the more acoustic instrumentation. And this is a fun little excerpt from a 2000 interview, where Tony reports the band's favourite songs to play live: "Tom says his favorite song is "Magic's in the Makeup," because he has a rad solo he gets to play. Gwen? Gwen's favorite song is "Magic in the Makeup" because Tom has a rad solo he gets to play."
and Gwen went on to say it's her fave song from "Return of Saturn" because she thinks it sums up the album lyrically.
Being among the mellow side of things on this album, "Magic's in the Makeup" is sure to bring the melancholy to the table. The intro alone with delicate guitars leading into the floaty synths along with Gwen's beautiful soft vocals during the verses is lovely totally sets the intricate and dreamy soundscape. I could definitely say the instrumental in general is one of the best aspects of the song, especially during that guitar solo middle-8, where all elements create such magical atmosphere. However, the chorus has always been a little bit jarring to me and felt slightly detached from the song, but it grew on me over time, even through the song still isn't among my faves from this album and I think there are stronger slowies.
Can you tell I'm faking it?
But I want to be myself
This opening couplet basically says it all about the topic of "Magic's in the Makeup". It's yet another introspective psychoanalysis of a song where Gwen is asking herself some relatable questions ("Beauty Contest" is like its
vanity sister song). The chorus is a clear statement here and the masterful lyrics further explain something we've al been through or are going through. 'Makeup' is obviously used more as a metaphor for pretty much anything used to fabricate our appearance, both physically and mentally, and stripping all that down is much easier said than done. Given the "If you bore me then I'm comfortable / If you interest me, I'm scared"
lines (the lyricism!), we can assume Gwen is mainly talking about an anxiety-driven relationship here. As such, it can be seen as a companion piece to "Simple Kind of Life" but we'll get to that one later of course.
Something that wasn't mentioned in the write-up is brought up by @AshleyKerwin
(8.5): "Fun fact - this played on Dawson's Creek once. Not bad for a deep cut."
I honestly had no idea about that. @bonnieetclyde
(7) says: "I love the chorus but the verses aren't as strong."
and seems to be in unison with @Sprockrooster
(7.5), who comments: "Saved by the chorus with those angelic vocals."
Well, as mentioned, I prefer the verses here. Closing off with @berserkboi
(9.5) complimenting the band: "These mellow moments suit them so well!"
No comments from any of the five high scorers, so hopefully we'll see them in the thread.
"My makeup's all off
Who am I?"
: Another fan fave but from a different album. Also the song with the highest low score so far.