Single Review: Teena Marie “Lovergirl”

Lovergirl
Album: Starchild
Year: 1984

Teena Marie hits on a guy in the roguish “Lovergirl.”

Teena Marie “Whoa-eee’s” over animated guitars to open the single, leading into a long synthesizer and drum machine solo. She’s forward, if a bit self-concious when she uses her pick-up line. She admits it’s a lame way to start a conversation. However, she sensed signals indicating his interest in her. (“Coffee, Tea or Me Baby/ Touche’/My opening line might be a bit passe but/don’t think that I don’t know/what it’s doing to me/cause I got a vibe on you/ the first time you saw me”)

In the pre-chorus, she promises not to be one of those dramatic girlfriends and that she absolutely has to have him. She heard through one of her friends he likes her. She adds she’s honest and loyal. (“I need your love, and I won’t bring no pain/a little birdie told me that you feel the same/I’m for real, and for you I’m true blue/Let’s make a deal, sugar, all I want to do is/Be your one and only lover.”)

In the chorus, she says she wants to the woman he loves for all time and changes his life forever. (“I just want to be your Lovergirl/I just want to rock your world.”) The phrase “rock your world” has been around that long?

In the second verse, she says another line. She comments it’s old-fashioned phrase. She’s well aware of her feelings. It was love at first sight for her. (“Hook, line, and sinker baby/That’s how you caught me/My second verse might be a/bit old hat but/don’t think that I don’t know what/I’m feeling for you/cause I got a vibe on you the first/time you saw through me.”)

After the chorus, Teena Marie sings a hearty “hey-yayayay!” as the electric guitar has flashy solo. Then, the chorus is sung again.

A subdued keyboard appears in the bridge while the drum machines and guitar have a lively good time.

She gets seductive as she coyly dances close to him. The synthesizer beeps every three lines. (“Baby, let me groove you/Let me groove into your love/I just want to be your Lovergirl/let me groove into you/let me rock your world/I just want to be your lovergirl/I just want to rock your world/baby, me let me smooth you/let me smooth into your world/I just want to be your lovergirl/let me prove it to you/let me rock your world/I just want to rock your world.”)

The first verse is sung in a staccato tone, which works amazingly well. She gracefully slides down the notes and doesn’t parrot them like a robot.

At the end of the song, Teena Marie has a spoken section. She says “when the push comes to shove/when you need a little love/let me put some rock into your world/call me up, don’t be shy/my love won’t make you cry/I just want to be your girl.”

The influential “Lovergirl” has elements of freestyle, which would later show up in Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam and Expose’s music. Marie’s brash, sly vocals also bring emotion to the otherwise average lyrics. As an early, post-disco dance song, it’s an excellent listen.

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Single Review: S Club 7 “Say Goodbye”

Say Goodbye
Album: Best
Year: 2003

Jo, Rachel, Hannah, Tina, Jon, and Bradley bid farwell to their fans in the soggy “Say Goodbye.”

Lonesome strings start the single which Jo “oh yeah’s” over. She asks if people will remember their television show and music videos. She wonders if they will be thought as a fun, spontaneous band. Then, Jon tells the fans that it had to end eventually and everyone is going their seperate ways. (“In the years to come/Will you think about these moments that we shared/In years to come/Are you gonna think it over/And how we lived each day with no regrets/Nothing lasts forever though we want it to/The road ahead holds different dreams for me and you.”)

In the chorus, she says goodbyes are tough but necessary. Jo says she’ll miss the fans and reassures them. (“Sometimes goodbye, though it hurts in your heart/is the only way for destiny/
Sometimes goodbye, though it hurts/is the only way now for you and me/Though it’s the hardest thing to say/I’ll miss your love in every way/So say goodbye/But don’t you cry/Cos true love never dies.”)

Next, Rachel says they may regret a fight they had with someone within the group.
Tina says they might run into each other in the pouring rain. Bradley adds that it’s fate for them to be split up. However, he would opt to stay together. (“In a year from now/Maybe there’ll be thing we’ll wish we’d never said/In a year from now/Maybe we’ll see each other/Standing on the same street corner though it rains/Each and every end is always written in the stars/If only I could stop the world/I’d make this last.”)

In the bridge, Jo says they will remain close friends and be there for each other. (“And when you need my arms to run into/I’ll come for you/Nothing will ever change the way I feel.”)

The appoproiate “Say Goodbye” covers all the PR bases: the split wasn’t something they wanted to happen, they’ll be BFF forever, they wish they hadn’t fought, etc. Unfortunately, it’s a calculated farewell to maintain a positive image of the band.

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Single Review: Natasha Bedingfield “These Words”

These Words
Album: Unwritten
Year: 2005

Natasha Bedingfield has difficulty writing a love song in the jumbled “These Words.”

Tumid drum machines, keyboards, and record scratching begin the single. Bedingfield adlibs “these words of mine, ah ah ah.” She says she’s a musician and it’s her identity. She decided to play with the chords D-E-F to create a song. It’s her responsibility to make the song, not anyone else’s. But she can’t concentrate. Her mind is drawing a blank on ideas and she could use some advice. (“Threw some chords together/The combination D-E-F/Is who I am, is what I do/No one’s gonna lay it down for you/Try to focus my attention/But I feel so A-D-D/I need some help, some inspiration/(But it’s not coming easily)/Whoah oh”)

In the pre-chorus, she aims to write something memorable which will be played on the radio long after she has faded into obscurity. Her trash can is filled with looseleaf paper with rejected song lyrics. (“Trying to find the magic/Trying to write a classic/Don’t you know, don’t you know, don’t you know?/Waste-bin full of paper/Clever rhymes, see you later.”)

In the chorus, she says her lyrics come from the heart. She decides to just say it: “I love you.” It’s the only way she knows how. (“These words are my own/From my heart flow/I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you/There’s no other way;/To better say/I love you, I love you.”)

To get some inspiration, she dug out some poetry books and read classic poems. She then opted to sample Lord Byron, Shelly, and Keats alongside a modern rap beat. However, it’s still not helping her. She can’t go the recording studio without having a song. However, her new romance has put pressure on her to write the perfect love song. (“Read some Byron, Shelly and Keats/Recited it over a hip-hop beat/I’m having trouble saying what I mean/With dead poets and drum machines/I know I had some studio time booked/But I couldn’t find a killer hook/Now you’ve gone & raised the bar right up/Nothing I write is ever good enough.”)

In the bridge, she says she’s not to going use an elaborate gestures and metaphors to describe her feelings. She’s only going to say what she feels. (“I’m getting off my stage/The curtains pull away/No hyperbole to hide behind/My naked soul exposes/Whoah.. oh.. oh.. oh.. Whoah.. oh..”)

The chorus ends the single. However, Bedingfield adds if it’s all right if she only says “I love you” and not anything else. (“I love you/I love you…I love you, is that okay?”)

The dishevelled “These Words” is more about writing a single than it’s actual topic. Important information is omitted (who is the song about? why is she singing to it him?) Meanwhile unnecessary details (being the recording studio, not being able to write an imaginative hook.) are kept in. “These Words” should’ve gone into the trash can like the other songs she tried to write.

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Single Review: Michael Jackson “One More Chance”

One More Chance
Album: Number Ones
Year: 2003

Michael Jackson pleads for the public’s…er, his girlfriend’s forgiveness in the unconvincing “One More Chance.”

Atoning strings praise and bow as Jackson “uh huh alright’s.”

He says to his girl….Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! (I can’t even type the word with a straight face.)
Anyway, he says it’s gonna be a person and he needs to have fame in order to survive.. He adds he’s crying all the time and has have the public’s attention again. He tells his friend, Chris Tucker, to pass along the his apology. (“This time gonna do my best to make it right/Can’t go on without you by my side/Hold on/Shelter come and rescue me out of this storm/And out of this cold I need someone/Oh why oh why why why/If you see her/tell her this from me/All I need is.”)

He wants another chance to gain back the public’s trust. (“One more chance at love/One more chance at love/(One more)/One more chance at love/One more chance at love/
(See)/(One more)/One more chance at love…(Alright)/One more chance at love.”)

He’s been looking to his fans to give him his self-worth. Through them, he will discover the meaning of life..and stuff. He has a big, gray rain cloud over his head due to his pain of not being as beloved post-HIStory. (“Searching for that one who is going to make me whole/Help me make these mysteries unfold/Hold on/Lightning about to strike in rain only on me/Hurt so bad sometimes it’s hard to breathe/Oh why why/If you see her/Tell her this from me/All I need is.”)

He would do anything to have the same level of fame he had during the “Thriller” era. He will hold press conferences, smear a little boy, and fake sickness. Fame is as necessary as water. (“And I would walk around this world to find her/And I don’t care what it takes no/Why/
I’d sail the seven seas to be near her/And if you happen to see her/See tell her this from me.”)

The phrase “one more chance” with adlibs is repeated an astounding 20 times. It’s an all-time record.

“So,” as you sit and read my blog, thinking “why is Dusk so biting tonight?” I can’t believe Jackson in a romantic relationship with a woman or even an adult man, for that matter. I also believe “One More Chance” is Jackson trying to gain sympathy after the scatching and telling Bashir documentary. Unfortunately, his persona eclipses the music circa 1993. In turn, his behavior is fair game.

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Single Review: Mya “Fallen”

Fallen
Album: Moodring
Year: 2004

Mya’s new relationship blossoms into love in the dreamy “Fallen.”

Summery guitars and record scratching open the single. Over floating strings, Mya adlibs “oh, yeah, huh oh.”

She has found a guy who fills a void inside her. He’s as necessary to her as breathing. When she hugs him, her problems fade. She’s in love with him and wants to tell everyone she knows about it. She met him by chance. (“You complete me/Like air and water boy/I need thee
And when I’m in your arms I feel free/Fallen/My heads up in the clouds in love/I’m proud/To you say it loud/Like an accident it happend/Out of nowhere/It just happend/And I ain’t mad at all/Because I’ve.”)

In the chorus, she says she’s fallen on the floor and can’t get up! The emergency: spontaneous swooning She turns off her Life Alert products and continues to relish her emotions. (“Fallen/Head over heels/I’ve fallen/In love with you/I’ve fallen/And I can’t get up
Don’t wanna get up/Because of love (Because of love)/Fallen…because of love.”)

She knows she has a keeper. For the time being, she’s dealing with his annoying habits and trying to get a commitment out of him. (“Baby/To let you get away is crazy (Let you get away)/
so I’m doing what it takes/To make you pledge your love to me/You see cause I’m tryna be your lady/For ever and ever baby/The picture wouldn’t be the same/If you weren’t standing next to me/Can’t you see I’m fallen.”)

They are compatible and she notes she’s not using him to show off to her friends. She knows he wouldn’t abuse or harm her in anyway. He puts up with her quirks which she appreciates. He’s the highlight of her day. (“You complement me/Not an accesory/You’re necessary/
You never could speak bad words against me/Your bear with me/Security/Are you here with me/Your my happiness/My joy (Joy)/And all because of you boy/I look forward to the time
I spend with you/Whatever it is we do.”)

In the sensual bridge, Mya whispers to him, telling him to touch, hold, kiss and love her. (“Touch me (Touch me)/Hold me (Hold me)/Love me (Love me)/Kiss me/In love with you
Talk to me (Talk to me)/Caress me (Oh)/Play with me/Don’t wanna get up/Explore me/
You’re my everything.”

The chorus is sung four times to end the single.

Mya finally experiences adult love in the passionate “Fallen.” She has evolved from a bitter teenager singing about multiple failed romances to realizing what love really should be. However, it does falter. The lyrics “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” evoke laughter due to the 80s commercial. While it makes sense in context of the song, the phrase is associated with Life Alert and the funny old lady who fell onto the floor.

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Single Review: Paulina Rubio “The One You Love”

The One You Love
Album: Border Girl
Year: 2002

Paulina Rubio wishes to be a confidante and cheerleader to her crush in the doting “The One You Love.”)

Not-too-exotic drums are strummed to begin the single. Rubio says she will be there to celebrate or comfort him in two redundant metaphors. If he needs someone talk to, she offers to listen day or night. She comments they have a lot in common and will be compatible. She won’t be a bitter person and drag him down. She’ll support him. (“when you’re on top of the world/Or it’s got you down/When you’re flying through the air/Or you’re crashing to the ground/When you’re searching for the light/And it’s nowhere to be found/Just phone me baby/And I know we’ll be the same/The air won’t tie you down/I won’t ever be the broken wings/That keep you off the ground/But when you start to see/I will be the sound/Just let me baby.”)

She wants to be his girlfriend. She wants to complete his life and be the girl he has been looking for. She’s willing to do whatever it takes for him to be hers. (“I only wanna be the one you love/I only wanna be the one you want/Come and get me baby/Let me loose inside your soul/I only wanna be your every need/I wanna be the girl in all your dreams/I’ll do anything to be/The one you love.”)

She tells him he can talk to her about any subject, including his darkest secrets. She won’t judge. She compliments him on his good looks. She adds she wants to reveal everything about herself to him. She’ll be an open book. (“Baby you can tell me everything/The secrets of your heart/If you could look inside of me/You’d see how beautiful you are/I wanna show you everything/Each and every part of me is yours/Just take it baby.”)

The guitar soars and whirls in the bridge. Rubio says she wants to be the girl who wants to get to know emotionally and physically. (“Let me be the lover/You want to uncover/Let me be the one you love.”) After some pushy guitars, Rubio’s become fuzzy as she exclaims “hey baby.”

The chorus is repeated four times to end the single.

The cozy “The One You Love” finds the Latin-American Paulina Rubio aiming to break into the United States. While she has a grasp of English language, her material needs to have a flair to it. “The One You Love” is a pleasant but ordinary listen.

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Single Review: Bruce Springsteen “Waitin’ On A Sunny Day”

Waitin’ On A Sunny Day
Album: The Rising
Year: 2003

Bruce Springsteen anticipates when his girlfriend no longer suffers from depression in the heartening “Waitin’ On A Sunny Day.”

Springsteen counts “1,2, 3, 4” along with an easygoing drum. An encouraging harmonica joins in. He comforts his girlfriend as she cries. He says that the problem will work itself out and they will find a solution. (“It’s rainin’ but there ain’t a cloud in the sky/Musta been a tear from your eye/Everything’ll be okay/Funny thought I felt a sweet summer breeze/Musta been you sighin’ so deep/Don’t worry we’re gonna find a way.”)

In the chorus, he patiently looks forward to trouble-free times again. Until then, he will deal it and try not to let it bother him. (“I’m waitin’, waitin’ on a sunny day/Gonna chase the clouds away/Waitin’ on a sunny day.”)

His girlfriend is his rock. She keeps him emotionally strong and balanced. He can’t think straight or function without her. (“Without you I’m workin’ with the rain fallin’ down/Half a party in a one dog town/I need you to chase the blues away/Without you I’m a drummer girl that can’t keep a beat/And ice cream truck on a deserted street/I hope that you’re coming to stay.”)

In the third verse, he tells her problems are a certainity. However, he wants to see her smile again. It will pick up his mood, knowing she is not dwelling on the situation.(“Hard times baby, well they come to tell us all/Sure as the tickin’ of the clock on the wall/Sure as the turnin’ of the night into day/Your smile girl, brings the mornin’ light to my eyes/Lifts away the blues when I rise/I hope that you’re coming to stay.”)

The harmonica and drum solo closes the single.

The touching hopefulness of the single has a sense of desperation. Springsteen’s gritty vocals are worrisome. He has to believe she will get better. If not, he will lose his optimism towards life. It’s powerful song filled with rich subtext and emotion.

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