Song of the Week – Erica’s Word, Game Theory


One of the buried treasures of the power pop genre is The Big Shot Chronicles by the California based Game Theory. The band was another in the long list of groups that garnered significant critical acclaim but never achieved more than a cult following with the public. That’s exactly the type of artist we strive to expose through the SotW.

My favorite song on The Big Shot Chronicles and today’s SotW is “Erica’s Word”, written by bandleader Scott Miller.

“Erica’s Word” has all the hallmarks of great power pop – a solid beat, chiming guitars, a strong melody and, of course, a killer singalong chorus. All of this is expertly produced and mixed by the talented Mitch Easter, best known for his work with R.E.M.

Game Theory’s (Miller’s) lyrics are noted for their sophistication and cleverness. One of the often cited lines from “Erica’s Word” is the nerdy “Erica’s gone shy, some unknown X behind the why, All is soulless today, Mass not conserving in the old way” — where math and physics collide.

Stewart Mason relates another beautiful detail in the song in his AllMusic review, writing “The moment in the final verse where Miller sweetly sings “Girl, I hope it comes through for you in the clutch” and adds a teasing extra bar before spitting out a snotty “But I won’t bet much!” and swinging into the final chorus is one of those perfect little moments power pop fans savor like truffles.”

Sadly, Miller ended his own life at the tender age of 53, four years ago this month.

Enjoy… until next week.