Perfect Song Length (and Rap God)

Post date: 20-Jun-2015 04:59:03

I just read/saw about a dozen articles claiming that scientists or some such have determined that the perfect song length is 2:42. Two minutes, forty-two seconds. Admittedly they limit this to "pop" music, but I still can't help but fuck around with the idea. 2:42 is problematic for me as a perfect length for a few reasons. 1) It's far too specific, 2) I can think of far too many supremely successful songs that exceed this duration, and 3) I would be hard pressed to come up with one of my favorite songs that clocks in at less than 5 minutes. Now, I may be a little biased in a few ways as well. After all, my average song length (counting A More Perfect Union and the upcoming (ab)Useful) is 5:24, so I write songs that are, on average, at least twice the length of the "perfect song length." And, to be fair, the average length of my all favorite songs probably clocks in at about 5-6 minutes. The longest one is probably Meshuggah's "I" which weighs in at a whopping 21 minutes flat.

And what I really ought to do with this information, if I'm brave enough to call it information, is write a song called 2:42, but make it 24 minutes 20 seconds long. That's just the kind of response I gravitate toward. Or, I can just release my current album, whose average song length is 5:18 (clearly shorter than A More Perfect Union by about 6 seconds, so at least I'm consistent!). But, better yet, I can release a cover of a pop song that lasts over 6 minutes that I've already recorded. Oh yes, that means my Rap God cover. It's complete (and so is (ab)Useful by the way, but more on that later) and ready to be released. In fact, I'll be uploading the finished product tonight! It's a big victory for me, since the song was hard as hell to cover, and I did exactly 114 vocal takes to get it in shape. So, point being, 2:42 is bullshit overall, and my cover of Rap God is coming out really soon.