Appreciating Schmaltz: Fatback Band’s Groovy Kind of Day
March 4, 2013
If you thought creating schmaltz was strictly the domain of stuffy old orchestra leaders or people perpetually drunk on Mai Tais and Zombies, brother were you ever wrong. Even the legendary funk, soul New York outfit the Fatback Band — the band credited with releasing what is considered to be the first rap song in 1979 — is not immune to creating what classifies as schmaltz. This is appropriate in its way, as Fatback is fairly close to the original definition of schmaltz, chicken fat used in rich dishes. We here at Appreciating Schmaltz, meaning you and me, use the term in its later but now primary definition: music or art that is florid, even garish, in nature and geared toward evoking copious amounts of sentimentality in the beholder.
Groovy Kind of Day is such a case in point. Its lyrics consist of simply of brief mentions of the type of day it is, groovy, and what kind of groovy day specifically (lazy, hazy, good for walking through the park, etc.). That’s pretty much it. It’s meant to evoke thoughts of sunlight, spring weather, and, one can’t help to imagine thanks to the lazy/hazy lyrics, the sensation of being stoned. Groovy Kind of Day is funky to be sure, but at its core, schmaltzy as well.