Comfort is a powerful thing. Yes, it is exciting to be in the midst of the unknown, thrilled by adventure and new experiences. Sometimes though, you just want to sit at home relaxing with a good book on the couch. My point being discovering new, unique music is wonderful, but when you need it, relishing in something comforting can be just as good.

Listening to Galactic’s “Does It Really Make A Difference” from their album Into the Deep is a musical equivalent of comfort food. This is not the typical jazzy, Afro-beat, party music the band is known for. Sung by Mavis Staples — inclining me to like the song — the song evokes a classic 60’s Otis Redding soul sound.

“Does It Really Make A Difference” opens with the infectious sound of Mavis Staples laughing. The short childish giggles induce a warmth, that is then emphasized by a driving melody played by Galactic’s renowned horn section. As with most classic songs, this is a love song, but not in the traditional sense. This is love from the perspective of someone older, someone who has experienced love and loss, and knows compromises are an essential ingredient in a working relationship.

“Does it really make a difference if we don’t see eye to eye. Does it really make a difference to build your castle in the sky,” she sings “Are we gonna let the big things take over the small?”

Later in the song Staples sings, “You know the hardest thing is to go it alone.” These words apply to life in a broader sense than just relationship advice. They may seem preachy, even a little saccharin, but Staples’ silky voice is able to make them sound like droplets of wisdom from a wise, knowing soul. They are, dare I say, comforting.

“Does It Really Make A Difference” is the type of song you play while driving on a sunny day. The type of song you listen to while your hands out the window, feeling the breeze. It feels familiar and that makes it great.

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