Song Wars is where I compare two songs with similar titles, meanings, or lyrics, different versions of the same song, or an original song and the covers that have been made of it. I'll discuss what I like and dislike about both songs, then decide which one I like better.
The exact format of Song Wars has taken awhile to figure out, which is the reason I didn't start posting it last week and part of the reason I'm not writing this post until late this evening. (The other reason is that I've developed a nasty cold/sinus infection and haven't felt like doing much of anything until now.) For a quick overview of how this post and the others will be structured, I'll start with the two songs I'm comparing and how they're similar. Then, in a format similar to the awesome Books vs. Movies reviews found here, I'll compare different aspects of the songs and decide which song is better in each category, which will definitely impact my overall decision of which song is better.
Now, without further ado, (sorry, I love that phrase), the first official Song Wars post!
"Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele vs. "Fire" by Ingrid Michaelson
What They Have in Common: Similar titles and somewhat similar meanings and lyrics
Title: The titles are the first and most obvious similarity between the songs. Both of them fit their respective songs perfectly, and I wouldn't change either one of them. However, while I like the simplicity of "Fire", "Set Fire to the Rain" is just a better image in the title. It's unique, and it makes you interested in the song before you've even heard it. So the winner of this round is definitely Adele.
Lyrics: Both songs have lyrics that are absolutely phenomenal, although in different ways. Each one creates a distinct image that pulls you into the song; while "Fire" has more metaphoric verses, "Set Fire to the Rain" is more descriptive. It's honestly hard to say which lyrics are better. The verses are my favorite part of "Fire", and I definitely like that and the chorus more than the bridge. There's nothing in the lyrics of "Set Fire to the Rain" that I dislike, although I think I like hopeful tone in "Fire"'s verses a bit more. However, the bridge of "Set Fire to the Rain" is beyond amazing. The whole song is more intense, although that doesn't necessarily mean anything either way. This is such a tough decision that I'm not even sure I can make it, so I think I'm going to have to declare the lyrics round a draw.
Music: The music a song is set to can make it or break it for me. Most of my favorite songs, I love because of the music. It's the main reason Coldplay is my favorite band - their instrumentals are stunning. So this is definitely a significant category.
It's also one that's easier to decide than the last one. I cannot get enough of the strings on "Fire." Oh, my goodness. I love string instruments of any kind, possibly more than I love piano instrumentals, which is saying somethings. The best part is right after the first chorus, but all throughout the song, they provide the perfect backdrop to the lyrics. Ingrid Michaelson and "Fire" have this round won hands down.
I'm definitely not criticizing the music in "Set Fire to the Rain" at all, though. It's nice, and there's some pretty piano at the beginning, but it's not what stands out about the song, and the instrumentals on "Fire" feel a lot more layered to me.
Singing: I'll start this off by saying that I love Ingrid Michaelson's voice, and that both songs fit their respective singers perfectly - I can't imagine either one being sung by a different artist. That being said, I think most people could guess that the winner of this round was going to be "Set Fire to the Rain." Her voice is just so powerful, and there's only a few artists that I can think of that might have her topped.
Meaning: Overall, these songs are pretty similar in their overall tone and style. They're both about relationships (unless there's some hidden meaning I'm not picking up); "Set Fire to the Rain" has the message of, "You're too flawed for this to work, but you still have my heart; I know we can't continue, but I'll still miss you, even though I shouldn't", I think "Fire" is about the intensity of being in the relationship and how it changes your outlook on life - based on the lyrics, I think for the better. That's why "Fire" comes out slightly ahead in this round. "
The songs came out tied this week, but overall, I have to say that I like "Fire" more. It was very close; "Set Fire to the Rain" is still an amazing song and Adele is an amazing singer. "Fire" is just my personal preference, mainly because I like the music and the meaning better, even though there places where I liked the lyrics of "Set Fire to the Rain" better. If either song had been just slightly different, it easily could have gone the other way.
So, what do you think? Which song do you think is better?