Musicality/Instrumentation: I like the very natural and relaxed feeling of this song. It’s much slower, a lot less pop/rock/etc than a lot of other tunes on this particular album, and is really in a completely different vein from what they’ve done prior. However different, this song carries the hallmarks of a Duran Duran song from this period. The layering of sound, the atmospheric synthesizers (have you sat and listened to JUST Nick’s synthesizers on this one? Gorgeous!), the beautiful, soaring guitar during the chorus, and the way that no one instrument holds all the keys. Each one provides their own part, and not one instrument can stand up against all the others and still play the song – it takes all of them to create the full melody. Even the guitar and as powerful that sound can be, it is not overpowering, and on this song (and many/most others within the Duran catalog), it really captures more of a rhythm guitar placement – it’s not truly the lead throughout the song. If only one thing demonstrates just how non-existent the egos were during this period, it is this type of songwriting.
Vocals: Hands down, this is one of my personal favorites from this album. (So much for an unbiased review, right??) Simon’s deep voice is truly stunning. He sounds relaxed, his throat completely open (no strain or squeezing the notes off), and that really adds to the casual, easy nature of the song. There is also a very tender, nurturing and caring quality to his voice in this song that translates very well with the mood. I can picture him sitting back and singing this effortlessly. Then you get to the chorus, and once again we hear what becomes the trademark of a Duran song – the stacked harmonies. Many of our fellow fans insist that Simon’s voice, the harmonies specifically, are what make Duran Duran sound like Duran Duran. I wouldn’t argue against that – it is one part of what makes their music recognizable to anyone who has paid the least bit of attention over the years.
Lyrics: Truthfully, most of the time when I listen to this, I’m carried away by the music so much I forget to even THINK about the lyrics. I’m already picturing myself on a lounge chair looking out over the ocean….. Ok, so I’ve been thinking a lot about my upcoming vacation lately, I admit it! When I do listen, it’s really obvious to me that the song is about someone who is resistant to letting someone get close to them. The song is about getting past that surface, to the real soul of the person. I really get this, and maybe the song has been speaking subliminally to me for the past few decades. I think the song is about a girl – probably because I *am* one – and she is private, she keeps her stress, sorrows and pain very private. Maybe she’s been hurt quite a bit and isn’t ready to trust, and Simon is pleading with this person to let him in, to trust him, that he won’t hurt her. While sure, the song is not difficult to understand, I think it’s beautifully written. There is still a ton of imagery going on there even though Simon was able to make his point clearly. “There’s heat beneath your winter, let me in.” or “Please tread gently on the ground when all around you earth turns to fire.” Come on now…that’s brilliant! The words hold personal meaning for me, and probably any other one time teenager who took the time to listen…and now as an adult I still find myself taking comfort in the words.
Production: The production on this song was done very well and with a very light hand. I hear the slight echo throughout, but the effect only helps to give the song this warm quality – as if the sound is swirling around you every so softly. I really can’t pick out any one thing I would have liked to hear differently. They took special care to make sure that nothing sounded muted, or that one instrument was heard above all others – and yes, I’m going to use that word again: BALANCE. They got it so right here.
Overall: So the song is among my favorites, and I’m not a ballad girl by any means. That makes it tough to find anything wrong here, and I can’t. If I were to be asked what song off of this album sounds the most natural and yet the most like Duran – I’d say it would have to be this one. I can imagine this song even being done acoustically. Live. (not that I would ever suggest such a thing. *gasp* Unplug Nick?!? NEVER!) I know what you’re all thinking, “You haven’t done Save a Prayer yet!” I know. I just think this song is the one people forgot but shouldn’t have. The underrated one. Just wait ’til we get around to reviewing videos (in the year 2025…)
Cocktails: 4.5 cocktails!