Monday, February 1, 2016

Mica Paris-If You Could Love Me (2005)


The first feature presentation for this month of February included a surprise; the second feature presentation for this month is a surprise! Off the backlog of past music requests and onto "The Music Spectrum" comes the sweet soulful voice of British singer Mica Paris and—just as was the case with those Paula Cole "I Believe In Love" dance remixes—the rare, much sought-after album "If You Could Love Me". I must admit that I have only recently gained interest in Mica. My first order of business with her had been to obtain some of the albums from the 90's that contained a few of her songs I'd heard somewhere in my music yester-years. While I'm still taking care of some unfinished business, I've shifted my focus to this "If You Could Love Me" gem, which has to be one of the best contemporary soul albums I've heard within recent weeks! Syncopation of the beat is the attraction to the opening cut, "I Luv You"; Mica's silky smooth voice and the echoed chants of 'hey' by the backup ladies are the spellbinders keeping you stuck to it. The fun follow-up, "I Just Wanna Dance", boasts a marvelous old-school groove and even more of her amazingly lofty, airy voice as she boldly sings about getting her nails done and buying new shoes and everything else a woman does to get ready for a night on the town—all without the intention of looking for any kind of romance, as she admits all throughout. I'd nominated my first candidate for 'Slow Jam Of The Night' fairly quickly on "I'll Never Say I Love You Again". Though once you've become enticed by the dreamy melody, the cinematic orchestrals and the magical, fairy-tale sound effects of the harp waves and the glittery stardust, then start absorbing the lyrics, you'll realize that it's a breakup song and not necessarily something you want playing in the bedroom on a romantic night. 'I'll never say those words again', is what the British singer promises over and over, and those same words don't have to be said at all when she breaks down the raw, awful truth on "I'm Not Your Mother". As the title to the album's fourth track implies, she's not gonna clean up after all of her man's messes nor deal with any more of his immaturity. Is she on the verge of breaking up here? Or is this some post-breakup angst being unleashed? Her vocals are magnificent when she's mad! Things are sour again on "Pack Your Bags", except it's the British singer herself who's now to blame for the heartbreak. So many memorable lyrical moments I got from this one, including when she says 'before I can get with him, I gotta get rid of him' (speaking about the new man she's got!) and the main hook where she goes it's not that you did me wrong, my love for you is gone'. She can't get any more clearer than that! Switching back to the more positive and upbeat side of the love phenomenon, there's the fun cut "Uh Oh" (that classic 'look-out!-you've-caught-my-eye-and-now-I'm-gonna-getcha' force at work on this one), the optimistic "Believe" and the hopeful number "If U Could Love Me", which is a fine choice for a middle-of-the-day, lazing-around chill-out session. Then speaking of chilling out, there's two other nominations besides "I'll Never Say I Love You Again" for 'Slow Jam Of The Night' that I have to rave about: "18 Months And 26 Days", a bittersweet love song where the songwriter is literally counting the days on the calendar since things became sour in the relationship, longing for her lost love to come back home (the sunny, at-home feeling contrasts—and deceptively, I might add—with the rather bleak undertones of the lyrics), and "Sweet Serenity", where it seems Mica has finally found peace and happiness and you, the listener, at last can feel good for her right long with her:

1. I Luv You
2. I Just Wanna Dance
3. I'll Never Say I Love You Again
4. I'm Not Your Mother
5. Uh Oh
6. 18 Months And 26 Days
7. Pack Your Bags
8. Sweet Serenity
9. Believe
10. If U Could Love Me

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