Try a Little Tenderness

Otis Reading was a popular soul artist right before the development of what we know today as Hip Hop. I chose one of his most successful songs, “Try a Little Tenderness”, and decided to analyze it. I had never heard of Otis Reading before and had never heard any of the song. One of the major things that stood out to me in the version of the song that i listened to was the steady percussion beat on the snare throughout the entire song, the use of keyboard/piano, and the unmistakable brass (sax and trumpet for sure).

I noticed in this song what I have noticed in all of the other soul music I have listened to thus far, that the vocals are what are supposed to be stressed, there is no loud overbearing background music presence, just a passionate vocal presence throughout the entire song. To me this adds an emphasis on the part of the music I find most important, the lyrics. All in all this song made me think about how much the lyrics and the speed of the lyrics have to do with the music industry. In today’s music industry most of the songs that are produced have incomprehensible lyrics that are hidden behind massive amounts of bass and melody drowning out the importance of the lyrics. The only thing I can figure is because lyrics are¬†inappropriate they drown it out with other things, but in the time of Otis when the lyrics were clean and the intentions were good it was amazing the power lyrics and music could have when the emphasis was on talent and lyrics.

While listening I recognized a portion of the song that I knew was an intro for a song on my iPod. So I searched (one of the best things ever, cures my need to know ever single time) and found out that this song was used in a Jay Z and Kayne West song titled “Otis” that I really could’t see any relation between the man and the song or even the two songs but that’s ok, I just thought it was cool that the song was remembered and brought up again in a major way in today’s Hip Hop world.


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