Single Review: Lisa Lisa & the Cult Jam “Can You Feel The Beat”

Can You Feel the Beat
Album: Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam with Full Force
Year: 1985

Lisa Lisa tries to show her boyfriend their relationship is worth saving in the moody “Can You Feel the Beat.”

A drum is tapped and an acapella Lisa Lisa asks if her boyfriend knows if she still cares for him.(“Can you feel the beat within my heart/Can you see my love shine through the dark/Can you feel the beat within my heart/can you feel my love shine through the dark/Can you see that you must be a part of that beat in my heart/that beat within my heart.”) A downcast tone is created with the low hum of the instruments in the background.

An urgent drum machine and synthesizer solo occurs for nearly a half minute. She “whoa-whoa-ha’s” several times.

A mighty drum accompanies her in the verse. They’ve been together for a long time now and are starting to drift apart. She threw his ties out the window out of frustration and anger. She couldn’t believe she did it. She has denied that their relationship is no longer working and decides to talk the incident through with him. She tells him she doesn’t him to leave. If he stays, they will move past the rut and be more in love with each other than before. (“After all that we’ve been through/I just can’t seem to face the fact that boy I’m losing you/I threw away your ties through those venetian blinds/I looked and saw my heart just overruled my mind/And I tried not to let it show/Now I don’t know what to do/I tell myself I’m lying/So let’s just not let it go/
My heart does double beats for you/Now you know my love won’t grow cold/Oh this love will turn to gold if we stay in love/Oh, my love.”)

After the chorus is another urgent drum machine and synthesizer solo.

She can’t ignore her feelings for him and believes he’s her true love. When she thinks of him, she imagines kissing and touching him. Her heart pounds for him. She tried to hide the strength of her emotions from him and thought it wasn’t real. She longs for him to have the same strong feelings for her. (“It’s like trying to touch the sky but overlook the sun/That’s why reality keeps telling me that you’re the one/Just the very thought of you gets me aroused/And I can feel my heart beat right through my blouse/And darling I tried not to show/Now I don’t know what to do/I tell myself that I’m lying/So let’s just not let it go/My heart does double beats for you, baby/
And I hope you feel the same/Cause I do know for sure, baby/That sure as my name/Oh baby I know that you’re the cure/Now you know my love won’t grow cold…oh my love.”)

After the chorus is repeated twice, the drum machine solo is tweaked some. The keyboards have her repeat forcefully “that beat” multiple times. Then, “can you feel the beat” phrase is manipulated. Her vocals go from high-pitched to normal then back.

A male member of the group then asks “can you feel the beat.” Lisa Lisa’s muffled “aahhh” follow.

Lisa Lisa sings the last section of the verses: “now you know my love won’t grow cold/oh this love will turn gold if we stay in love.”)

Lisa Lisa singing “my love” multiple times ends the single.

Dance music is typically upbeat. However, the Full Force and the Cult Jam turn the it into a brooding dark house single. “Can You Feel the Beat” is dance classic due to bending the cliche mood of the average fare.

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