God bless the understated, the soft, the prudent, and the wisely subdued. Listen carefully for their voices for they thunder not in volume and dominance, but they quietly diffuse their breath of spirit. Masters of quality, they withhold showy, overwhelming avalanches of egotistical mass while they emit to others only the most tasteful, seasoned thoughts long-filtered through their unpretentious souls. They have learned to strike at the heart of the matter instead of trusting chance. Dulcet and adept, they are the beautiful Mellifluous.
The Mellifluous, filled with refined and natural sweetness, flow with rich, unique understatement.
The Mellifluous possess aged and mellowed talents -- the real, gritty substance beneath the calculated articulation of their craft. Some critics mistakenly believe their marked simplicity and economy are products of infertile minds and dull imaginations. How untrue. For the Mellifluous, "meager" is a tool that conveys their basic understanding of grounded imperfection and using "meager" allows other humans to appreciate an unclouded view of the Mellifluous interpretation of basic reality.
Free of excess ornamentation, the Mellifluous have schooled themselves in seminal works to better understand the roots and the core of truth inherent in the voices of those who have pioneered their endeavors. They do so not only to interpret the knowledge but also to expand "what counts" in the message. Minimizing themselves in the process, they produce their own unfiltered transfer of theme, free of excess exaggeration and interference.
Nowhere to me is the grace of the Mellifluous more apparent than in recorded popular music. When I hear a Sam Cooke voice, a Booker T organ, a King Curtis saxophone, or a George Harrison guitar, I feel as if I have been blessed with soulful restraint. Likewise, when I don't hear Charlie Watts drums or James Jamerson's bass, I realize the heart of the rhythm section is so tight, so seamless, and so unnoticeable that the song, not the performers, is the solid, understated medium that makes me never tire of listening.
Don't misread me. I am not a fan of easy-listening formats and soft, baseless delivery, so don't believe if I am stranded in an elevator, I am going to enjoy the tunes. (I may be showing my age. I know we used to refer to this dribble as "elevator music.")
And, if you prefer artists like Abba and Air Supply and Celine Dion to Buddy Guy and Tom Waits and Laura Nyro, that's OK with me. It may be a matter of preference. I admit to being no fan of American Idol. I just understand that the Mellifluous rock me with their guttural nature and impeccable understanding of quality more than their smooth, pretty sounds.
Mellifluous music is like Mellifluous human beauty. Loud announcement and glittering ornamentation soon grow tiring to the eye. Simplicity and a certain roughness of surface are inherent in lasting beauty -- these qualities serve to captivate and hold attention because they are universal understandings of purity and truth.
Unshielded by vanity and unadorned by man-made modifications, a beautiful human employs natural attributes to enhance sensual appeal. In terms of attractiveness, too perfect is just unrealistic, smelling of an underlying artificial heart and soul. Often, willingness to accept a flawed appearance allows a person to become an intelligent, tender, but impassioned beauty.
So, to me, the Mellifluous are golden. They live and act their prudent art, and, in doing so, they make the world a sublime place in which to dwell. I have enough complication in my life without filling it to the lip with preponderance and clatter.
I guess I am not attracted to glitz, glamour, and gazillion. I fall for the understated, the simple magical connection so subtly weaved into the message. Be it a song or a person, I don't care for the over-produced, the falsely perfected, the shockingly stated, the artificially flavored, the dazzling, or the tribally tattooed.
Not that there's anything wrong with those of you who love the "overdeveloped." Lord knows I wouldn't want to offend a beautiful person bent on pursuing perfection and Disneyland. Let your Beamers, your Harleys, your Armanis, your Versaces, your Chivas Regals, your Coutures, your Chanels, and your Nikes lead you to sell out to an over-worn image and take you to the peak of your perceived "success."
I just believe all of us can find large doses of comfort and substance in the Mellifluous. You might even choose to become a devotee of enjoying such a style. Just one warning -- it's not as easy to be strong and subdued as you think. I should know because as much as I admire the Mellifluous, I can't make myself much less boisterous and subdued... that is, until I listen to the Mellifluous music or catch a smile from a Mellifluous woman.
King Curtis "Soul Serenade" at the Fillmore West
Laura Nyro "Stoned Soul Picnic"
Booker T. "Green Onions" Live from Daryl's House