cts's picture




Liner Notes: 

CTS sez: I was super-stoked when @cleanshoes said she would work on a song with me. The song is not about anyone specific, but it is an observation of people in power and who use power to not only set their agenda but hurt others in the process. Retribution always comes around and there isn't anything that can hold back ultimate justice no matter what a person might do to hide the extent of their stench. Thanks again Leah! This song is awesome.

cleanshoes: When @cts asked if I would be interested in collaborating, I said "OMG YES OF COURSE" (though in slightly more restrained terms). It was an honor to set his incredibly meaningful, topical, and cheeky lyrics to music! Thank you, Craig!


Music and vocals - Cleanshoes
Words - CTS

What’s in a name that would still smell as sweet?
Would any other name still do?
What’s with the scent of your trail so mystique?
Though you try to hide it - you still give away clues

What’s in a crime that would pardon your sin?
Do you ever think it through?

What’s in your heart that makes your mouth offend?
Is there anybody as evil as you?
What say you?

No matter what you do you can't cover it up
The stank all over you for doing God knows what
Your life is such a way that it’s so corrupt
And a million $ fragrance won’t save your butt
No - a million $ fragrance won’t save your butt

In a world so divided by a big tall wall
Of ideologies grand and small
Would you take the time to see what’s at the center of each truth?
If it meant you would lose it all...
truly lose it all…
But what have you lost
If there was no cost
When you first parted into the world

What’s in your head when you see what’s in the streets?
What do you do when opposing sides meet?
When do you try to see past your own gain?
You can take an idol down,
But does the love remain?

No matter what you do you can't cover it up
The stank all over you for doing God knows what
Your life is such a way that it’s so corrupt
And a million $ fragrance won’t save your butt
No - a million $ fragrance won’t save your butt

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


fresh spotless youth's picture

That opening couplet is fantastic, and it really sets the stage for everything else. The vocal is sublime. I love the way you move from quasi-rapping out lots of words to soaring up high. The simply jazzy guitar groove really makes this thing go. That million $ fragrance hook is catchy AF, and a great way to end the song.

AndyGetch's picture

The lyric is somewhat pointed and yet universal. The million dollar fragrance phrase evokes multiple meanings for me which makes it really interesting. The jazzy melody over folk chords with spot on dynamics are haunting and beautiful. Super collab!

metalfoot's picture

Strong lyric and the jazzy melody really works well. Great collab, you two!

Wolf Kier's picture

You guys bring a musical flower to the stink you sing about. Big fan of both of you. Mesmerizing jazzy vocal and cool laid back accompaniment. Enjoyed much.

nancyrost's picture

I like the synergy in this collab, the music taking the lyric in a serious, melancholy direction. The cheekiness still comes through, too. Strong themes this 5090!

Gwyn Jones's picture

Phew! This is so every which way! Musically...vocally and lyrically...such a subtle diatribe...rather brilliant I think...

JūS's picture

If you two could see my face while listening to this you would likely recognize the highest compliment any musician can receive: STINKFACE! That’s right, the face you make when something is so good your face looks like someone in the room is wearing a bottle of cologne or Satan himself just farted. It’s normally reserved for slap bass solos and the like but you’ve slayed with something substantial. I’m afraid this is my new resting face.

And it’s no surprise. A collab between two of my favorites, I went in pretty much expecting to be devastated and hot damn I was.

“What’s in your head when you see what’s in the streets?” CHILLS. I wonder this, often. This is dead on, direct, speaking of truth to power with a razor sharp wit. All through, it’s real powerful stuff and it feels good. These are lyrics you can come back to again and again and still feel like it’s that first listen. Brilliant writing, in my opinion.

The cleanshoes scheme on this rules. Stinkface. Absolute stinkface. The vocal acrobatics, the clever guitar arrangement, it’s all dialed in and way too cool. Seriously, wtf? I quit.

Jk see y’all soon.

Candle's picture

I absolutely love the jazzy vocals. And the simplicity of the single guitar really drives home the emotion of the lyrics & the performance. Awesome work you two!

See You In The Shadows…

ZsuzsaDoe's picture

Late to the party, but gotta say: Fantastic song, absolutely cool and beautiful.

kahlo2013's picture

This is an incredible and important song in every way! The lyrics are wonderfully insightful, thought provoking, provoking and pointed. The music is absolutely incredible! I LOVE the melodic flow, phrasing, and pacing - the emotive clear pitch perfect vocals are gorgeous and the vocal lifts are superb. The instrumental layers work really well. This is a polished gem that I hope gets wide distribution!

musicsongwriter's picture

Sensational song and collaboration. Brilliant lyrics, music and demo. Amazing vocals! Very cool and hot song! Great work! Inspired and clever.

adamh's picture

Outstanding song, really strong lyrics again and when that chorus line kicks in its a really good payoff. Great melodic movement too through the song too.

tcelliott's picture

Well written lyric and a very, very good performance. I love your vocal on this song (well, every song I've heard you sing this year, cleanshoes) and the phrasing works very well. You two should work together some more.

Dragondreams's picture

This is simply sublime! A fantastic, soulful performance of a lovely tune. And that's a perfect bed for Craig's lyrics.
I'm with TC - the world needs you two to work together some more!