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Can't Complain

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A newer version of this song can be found here:
Can't Complain (w/ Komrade K)

This song was written for Suzanne on our 1st wedding anniversary, our paper anniversary, so I gave her the sheet music as a gift. She wrote the lyrics as a poem and I changed them only slightly while fitting them into the song. I really like her unique and courageous phrases. I had been working with the soprano sax on my last couple of songs and this melody ended up sounding like a soprano line. There are actually 12 vocal tracks; every line is double (l-r), and the final chorus has 4 uniquely panned unison lines. I did this because Suzanne loves it when I sing with myself. The drums are a mixture of software and real; the section after "At last I can transcend" uses multiple tracks of hand and Pearl drums. The solo strings are cut up and reconstituted string quartet loops designed to play only the notes I had already arranged for them (I did this in Live 3.0), augmented by my Proteus II. A steel harp soundfont was used to double the violin pizzicato. The organ, altho subtle, is actually 3 different organ settings all played separately. There are 4 layers of synths in the "chorus" panned to create a sense of background release even as the arrangement becomes more percussive.

The highlight of the song, for me, comes at the end of the singing when the cymbals transcend into a hand percussion bed over which an acoustic guitar solo is played. (It took me about 9 takes trying various rhythmic variations and articulations to get the guitar part right.) Then I played a live grand piano obligato part that I recorded and flew in separately (using Live to line up correctly). But it was worth it, since Suzanne told me this section sounds exactly what she feels like being with me. Sigh.

There are 40 tracks in all requiring several bounces. This file crashed at least 6 times in the making. Unlike our love, which will never crash!

Other collaborations with Anton (twonicus):
Pilgrim of the Return
Revolution's Son
Queen Crimson
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CAN'T COMPLAIN (based on Suzanne's words)

I can't complain for all the pain that might have been.
I can't complain, each moment had it's place.
Friendships and bonds unbroken over time,
as shallow as they are...

When I was young I couldn't lose.
I didn't care. My life was full.
So unaware of what was missing,
until I found you there.

Can't compare. Can't complain.
Had to be... all my life's led to you, now I see.
Needed time (needed everything) to make sure,
(so that I'd be sure),
to mature into this person you met,
to be ready, ready for you.
Beyond regret.

Mistakes I made, I use every one of them,
and made my way into your arms.

Can't compare. Can't complain.
Needed time (needed everything) to make sure
(so that I'd be sure)
...to be ready, ready for you.
And here I am, right in front of you,
as if I'd always been waiting.
Here I am, right in front of you.

I can't imagine living one moment over again.
Can't complain.

Why would I leave this perfect place where I am?
Memories are fickle. They are less than I'd once hoped.
But with you I know that I can,
that at last I can transcend...
Song Stats
Hits: 6700
Comments: 25
Fans: 8
Plays: 641
Downloads: 244
Votes: 27
Uploaded: Jul 14, 2004 - 09:06:26 AM
Last Updated: Apr 09, 2007 - 08:37:31 AM Last Played: Jun 26, 2019 - 02:41:37 AM
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Roland A-90; Yamaha grand; EV 757; Proteus II cellos and violins; wedding poem written on yellow legal pad
GB 1.1, Live 3, DP 4; soulmate spirit
said 5519 days ago (July 14th, 2004)
Forever and ever...
Tobin and Suzanne, You both are lucky to have each
other. This collaboration contains the essense of truth,
friendship and love. Very well done. And thank you for
sharing it with me as you were creating it. I am sure it was
worth the many crashes you endured.

TobinMueller said 5518 days ago (July 15th, 2004)
Forever and ever...
Thanks, Alimar. And I think the crashes I was having may have been becuz of
a Pluggo demo plugin I was using that was eating up CPU. But the multiple
bounces it made do helped me clear tracks and, in the process, think of new
dashes of sounds and layers to add, to frame the emotions I was trying
carefully to gift wrap. So it all worked out in the end.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 5519 days ago (July 14th, 2004)
Simple lovely
I love a good love song and this is just that. I also think it is one of the most difficult kinds of song to compose. I won't comment on all the various aspects other than to say, you bring a lot into this song, blending it together, without overdoing it. Again, not an easy thing to do. This inspires me.
TobinMueller said 5352 days ago (December 28th, 2004)
Simple lovely
Thanks. "Simply lovely" is how I would describe Suzanne. And regardless of
all sorts of other things, she inspires me. I am glad this song could
communicate some of that.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Paul_T said 5518 days ago (July 14th, 2004)
Well crafted, as usual, but . . .
I like some of your other songs a lot better.
It pains me so say it. To my ears, your vocal sounds a little melancholy, while the lyrics are meant to be happy. This feels sort of dark to me. Maybe if the vocal were just an octave up . . . i just can't put my finger on it. I wish I could be more constructive and specific.
Check out my latest song called Breathe It Out
TobinMueller said 5518 days ago (July 15th, 2004)
Well crafted, as usual, but . . .
I sang the vocals with a peaceful heart, not a melancholy one. A love song
about the beauty of comfort and redemption. They need not always be about
passion. There is a sense of inevitability to these lyrics, about faith and being
surrounded by the certainty of a strong, unfailing love. No desperation.
Simple peace. And giving over to each. That is what I was going for.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
DandyChief said 5518 days ago (July 15th, 2004)
Can't Complain
This coud be a Country Western hit in the USA with a
few tweaks. A femal singer needs to get this into her
soul and release it. Someone just below the super
star status who is rising. This could put her over the
Suzanne said 5518 days ago (July 15th, 2004)
thank you, love
with no bias, of course, i think this is an emotionally perfect song. i know what i was feeling when i wrote the words, and the music and melody and especially the instrumental ending captures it. i love Tobin singing in a low voice and wish he would do it more. very sexy. to me. surrounded by singing Tobins. ahhh. thank you, love.
Check out my latest song called Rock The Baby With Voodoo (w/Tobin)
futzpucker said 5517 days ago (July 15th, 2004)
Great work, worth the effort
Beyond the tender, open communication between you and
your wife, which we are all given a glimpse of by virtue of
hearing this song (for which thank you), the arrangement
and production of this song is absolutely first rate. As a
result we get a very deep experience listening to this.

The instrumental section at the end is lucious. I love the
percussion. Very tasty.

Not everybody has the courage to open their doors as
wide as you do. There is risk inherent in doing so. It does,
though, create a rippling effect, and we all benefit
(including you). Congratulations on your anniversary and
on this collaboration.

One more thing: I like your lower range vocals, as well,
and Suzanne is correct in her opinion of your singing with
yourself. Suzanne is correct. Get used to that. It's called

Thank you for this song and the work and love you put in
it, Tobin.
Check out my latest song called Just As It Is
TobinMueller said 5517 days ago (July 15th, 2004)
Great work, worth the effort
Goodness. Yes, your words are wise and true and very, very kind. Thank
you, too. You made me smile with your thoughts as well.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
futzpucker said 5511 days ago (July 22nd, 2004)
Great work, worth the effort
Not mentioning Suzanne's contribution to this song was a huge oversight on
my part. The lyrics were, of course, the "welcome in" that let us all share in
your joy. A thousand pardons, madam.

By the way, the instrumental section at the end, besides being lucious,
whatever the heck that is, is also quite luscious, as well.
Check out my latest song called Just As It Is
SlimGirlFat said 5517 days ago (July 16th, 2004)
from the heart.
congratulations to both of you.

Music created with love always reaches into that inner part
of us all... thankyou for sharing.
Tobin, of all your tracks I have listened to, this is probably
my favorite.. you sound very relaxed and the good
harmonies add a depth of feeling. Suzzanne, the lyrics are
TobinMueller said 5352 days ago (December 28th, 2004)
Thanks Slimgirl. I tried to reach into the romantic without getting
sentimental or falling into pat formula. I'm glad you rank this so high among
my submissions, I love it when people can let themselves embrace romance.
Love, live on!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Cameron said 5517 days ago (July 16th, 2004)
So Very Lovely!!
This is a wonderful song in every respect. What new and
original thought can I say? Everyone has already
expressed it so well!

Your vocal overlays combined perfectly. I also enjoyed
your tasteful use and edits of those string loops; you
made them your own and they came alive.

I like very much the shift of rhythm towards the latter half
of the song with the percussion triplet feeling.

Thank you both for sharing this great song with all of us!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Mcboy said 5514 days ago (July 19th, 2004)
that piano sound...
is so rich ..the vocals r not my cup of tea...but if suzanne
likes em...who cares....hi marks for emotional
impact...and presentation.....
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
giovanni said 5513 days ago (July 19th, 2004)
I can truly hear the SAX!
Fantastic track! It is obvious that you've put a great deal
of attention into this one. What a gift! Of course this sort
of raised the bar for future Anniversaries! :)
Check out my latest song called You Monster
TobinMueller said 5513 days ago (July 20th, 2004)
I can truly hear the SAX!
Hmm... next year. Never thought of that. The "cotton straw" anniversary
(who ever thought up that silliness? aren't I glad I can google this trivia?)... A
song I can play in the barn in my pajamas... (Glad you could hear the sax in
the melody line, by the way. I thought that little trivia was cool.)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
packosmokes said 5513 days ago (July 20th, 2004)
I need one of those Yellow Legal Pads!
Well, usually I'm not comfortable voting on a "Tobin
Mueller" track as I'm not fond of Jazz and would feel
it's unfair to try to vote or comment out of my
musical tastes. Of course, this isn't Jazz and I like it
so I get to open my big mouth! :P

There's something that really got into me about this
song. Aside from it's wonderful sentiment and
professional quality. It's "build" is wonderful, almost
reflecting how love seems to work. Starting out with
the soft awe of first contact, building to the passion,
and then that part where two become one, joined

Oddly enough, I was also uncomfortable with the
vocals, but as the song progresses, they almost
blend into the song... perhaps, like love,

The ending? Scrumptious! The ethnic rhythms under
the piano were wonderful treat! Reminding me just a
little bit of Peter Gabriel.
Check out my latest song called The Future
TobinMueller said 5352 days ago (December 28th, 2004)
I need one of those Yellow Legal Pads!
Man, I love all the stuff you find in my songs. Like ESP. Thanks for listening
so closely, for taking it all to heart so effortlessly, for caring about the music
and the meaning. I really appreciate it.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
tidjj said 5508 days ago (July 25th, 2004)
Packosmokes talks about Peter Gabriel. It tastes also
kind of Bowie and Queen sometimes.
I can tell that it's hard to build a complete and long
piece (you noticed my short piece was... short) and
you did it.
I'm not influenced by the lyrics (I'm french, so,
english isn't my native langage. It's hard to feel the
deep meaning of foreign poems. Only its surface is
visible to me) so I didn't noticed a distorsion between
the vocal performance and the words.
What I can say is that I love the balance between your
Check out my latest song called Leaving Jupiter (LP)
fosod said 5471 days ago (August 30th, 2004)
Tobin, Great.
The singing and the harmonies are REALLY tight. I'm
impressed, dude. I think this is your most 4sweetest piece
of pieces.

Check out my latest song called Totally Hoany
TobinMueller said 5352 days ago (December 28th, 2004)
Tobin, Great.
Thanks. I wanted it to be. Thanks for listening to it all, in more ways than
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
EdensEve said 5324 days ago (January 25th, 2005)
Your voice sounds so good on this one. I just listened to I Will Love, the traagedy of 9/11 and your oath, and this seems like a rebirth of peace in the aftermath... your new life fulfilled. I am happy for you and thank yhou for sharing these intimate thoughts with us. A perfect and lovely song, perfect parformance and production. The use of strings is the coolest I've heard since The Beatles.
elppa cam said 5173 days ago (June 24th, 2005)
Holy Cow
This is beautiful.

I shall stop writing music today...
Check out my latest song called What's Gonna Happen
Komrade K said 4604 days ago (January 14th, 2007)
Having recently gotten close to this song...
I just wanted to say that I love it, the way the dissonances build up the feeling of optimism and that wonderful little piano figure at the end keeps popping in my head unexpectedly.

Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Artist Info
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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