Typically pop albums start with a bang! An up-tempo, catchy number to pull people into the album. Not so here. I chose the second slowest song on the album, clocking just 90 BPM and with a quiet, ambient introduction.
Since this was more of a conceptual pop album, I liked the idea of beginning with a mood piece, setting the tone for the album. I also knew I wanted to close the album with its sister track “Memory of the Future”, which would form a cyclical loop.
I actually wanted to do this with the Monumental album by putting “Space Cowboy” as the opening track, but mixer Mark Saunders suggested I put “American Girl” first – and who am I to argue with a legend! However, I always feel a bit dirty when I weight marketing logic over artistic intuition, so I’m glad I followed my instinct here.