Friday, June 10, 2016

Jimmy Somerville-Dare To Love (1995)


I have done as commanded yet again—for the second night straight, I've obeyed my inner instincts and followed through with presenting something from my music collection that I felt deserved to be given the "Music Spectrum" spotlight. Eight years since I had last listened to Jimmy Somerville's "Dare To Love" before this 2016 year came around? 'How dare you!', my inner voice says to me. It took a friend in my music circles mentioning Jimmy's very memorable high-energy hit, "Heartbeat", to guide me back to this wonderful album and make me realize how wonderful it was and still is all over again! Been listening to it for the past month, and I had to enjoy one more full listen of it to top off my Friday night. Besides "Heartbeat" always getting my own heart racing with excitement and thrill, as practically every high-energy jam does, it also always gives me goosebumps, particularly the part when he and his soulful backup singers join in together when the main chorus shifts to that emotionally gripping 'I can feel it' part. I dare you to try to listen to "Heartbeat" only once and think you'd be satisfied, because you won't! Three or four consecutive times is barely sufficient for me; why, then, have I never acquired any of the "Heartbeat" singles with the extended remixes that I know are on them? While I'm trying to figure that one out, it's not hard at all to figure out why the follow-up "Hurt So Good" makes me feel happy every time I hear it; love these skippy reggae-pop tunes with the sunny melodies of the trumpet leading the way. Covering golden classics from the past&mash;that always makes for happy moments, which is why I find Jimmy's take on the DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES hit, "Someday We'll Be Together, such a beautiful listen. And the classiness is still there, noting that same dreamy retro glow yet refined and molded with just the right amount of synthesizing to bring it up to 90's pop form. The title track is a simply a Jimmy Somerville masterpiece. Immediate impressions for some made from the sway of the rhythm are that this would be just an ordinary bluesy number, but once Jimmy takes on a whole different persona with his gritty, intense vocals and tells the raw and painful story about a man being treated like a criminal for following the desires of his heart, you'd discover that this isn't an ordinary blues tune at all. Some of my favorite words from this song that stick to me: 'they locked him away because he dared to love', 'kicked in the door like there was some kind of murder going on' and 'where is the crime in love?'. Then there's one small word that speaks a lot to you on this album's third track: 'cry'. And it's a song that almost makes me cry, or at least come close to shedding a tear. Jimmy's vocals are so powerful and piercing to the soul here, particularly in the way his voice runs up and down at the singing of that emotional outburst of a three-letter word. That same voice is on the verge of soaring into high heavens as the music fades out; why couldn't the music play on for just a few more seconds? Now I need an extended version of "Cry" if just to enjoy that nuance. Jimmy can be such a romantic; songs like the warming "By Your Side" and "Safe In These Arms" highlight that statement. Or sometimes he can be a straight up dance DJ, burning up the floor with house-style jams like the festive thrill that is "Come Lately" ('come lately, I can't get by without your love': one of the best hooks on this album!) and "Alright", where the music really is 'all right' by me because there's so many cool and odd textures and haunting sounds that turn it into something quite unique. Plus he's got a flair for the dramatic. The concluding ballad, "Because Of Him", is one of THE loveliest and emotionally-moving romantic tributes that you'll ever hear. Yes, I get all sorts of goosebumps on this one, thanks to the dazzling epic production highlighted by thy the piercing violin and Irish-inspired melodies of the woodwind accompaniment and that thunderous tribal drum beat, all while Jimmy dares to proclaim to the world that'it's all because of him':

1. Heartbeat
2. Hurt So Good
3. Cry
4. Love Thing
5. By Your Side
6. Dare To Love
7. Someday We'll Be Together
8. Alright
9. Too Much Of A Good Thing
10. A Dream Gone Wrong
11. Come Lately
12. Safe In These Arms
13. Because Of Him

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