Friday, April 18, 2008

The Promise

Song: The Promise
Artist: When in Rome
Album: When in Rome

You know what’s funny? For the longest time I thought this song was Depeche Mode. And once I found out it WAS NOT in fact Depeche Mode, I was totally embarrassed. While it sounds more like Depeche Mode than say… Rick Astley, it still really doesn’t sound much like Dave Gahan, and lyrically is NOT their style. But because I got the song from big bad Napster back in the day, and P2P services are notorious for idiots guessing info and uploading, it was wrong for some time.

You know what’s NOT funny? Napoleon Dynamite. Okay, I know that that movie was this crazy sleeper hit and I’ve met people that have watched it over and over… but, it’s AWFUL. It’s a movie like this that makes me think I might be completely out of step with a huge portion of the population… and don’t care. Like Ace Ventura before it, Napoleon Dynamite is an example of something almost outrageously stupid that somehow catches on. Like snap bracelets, jelly shoes, and George W. Bush.

I bring up Napoleon Dynamite sort of randomly… I hadn’t remembered that the song was used in that bloody awful film, but found it important to mention because my impetus for writing about “The Promise” is that it’s one of those songs that seems destined for some movie moment. Preferably when the characters have gone through whatever they went through, and had their final moment together, a song will then pop up… noting the emotional resolve, if you hadn’t felt it already. For a while there was a lot of movies using 80’s tunes to score these moments, which oddly were usually about new millennium teens. Did it mean that no current bands were writing these mid-tempo emotional tracks? Nah… probably the filmmakers themselves are 80’s children and/or they just wanted something kind of recognizable. (I loved the use of Yaz’s [Yazoo] “Only You” in “Can’t Hardly Wait.”)

So who the heck ARE When in Rome? Well their a Manchester, UK based band that initially was called “Beau Leisure” (LOVE that name) until singer Corinne Drewery left to form the jazz-pop band Swing Out Sister. The guys were signed to a Virgin subsidiary label until “The Promise” started getting buzz and Virgin ordered a full album. The song went to #11 on the U.S. charts and #1 on the Dance chart, yet despite the hit… they never did a sophomore album. (The follow up single “Heaven Knows” went to #95… gosh, do you remember that one? Yeah… neither do I.)


I (heart) the 80’s!

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