Monday, January 2, 2017

Kenny Loggins, "This Is It"

You take your political resistance where you can find it.

This weekend I was listening to WFMU, the local freeform listener supported station, specifically the Glenn Jones Radio Program. I noticed that his song choices were, as usual, quite eclectic, but all of them had an implicit message of resistance. It totally clicked when Kenny Loggins' "This Is It" came on.

On the surface this doesn't really sound like a call to arms, it's a yacht rock tune by Kenny Loggins with a backing vocal by Michael McDonald, who seemed to sing on practically every other hit song of the time (roughly 1979-1981.) You might interpret it to be about a relationship, but I think it can easily be a political song.

It starts smooth and sultry, with an air of menace about it despite the shimmery keyboards. Loggins talks about tough times in life that he had felt he'd always survive "but now I'm not so sure." That could describe a lot of folks on the political left right now. Just as you feel the despair, Michael McDonald's baritone voice then emerges from the ether, crooning "You think maybe it's over."

But no! As he says, "it's only if you want it to be."

Loggins then sassily challenges you: "Are you waiting for a sign, your miracle? Stand up and fight!"

Suddenly, like Castor and Pollux descending from the heavens, Loggins and McDonald, the twin gods of yacht rock belt out "THIS IS IT!" You can feel their determination, the willingness to fight despite the long odds.

Forget "Street Fighting Man" or "Fight The Power." The improbable source of yacht rock has given us the political anthem we need for these troubled times.

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