One of the greatest things about digging through old music you forgot about, like I did a few days ago, is unearthing the gems you used to listen to. Take this song, for example.
I used to listen to this song over and over and couldn't get enough of it — and even though "Stay" was arguably Shakespear's Sister's big hit™, I think "Hello (Turn Your Radio On)" is far better. Their harmonizing is simply incredible, and where "Stay" is pretty heavily produced and radio-friendly as a result, "Hello" has a rawness in both form and feeling. It makes it a more genuine song, in my opinion... and I dig that.
This song is from the early 1990s, a fairly desperate time in my life. Listening to it again now — and yes, over and over like before; and yes, twenty years later (damn!) — has made all those old feelings resurface. I didn't expect that. I don't mind it, but it gives my thoughts a strange sort of ragged edge I've not felt in a long time — hope in the face of hopelessness, courage in the midst of adversity.
I've now lived nearly twice as many years, and I've had a world of experiences compared to the kid I was back then. Yet this song resonates with those same parts of my brain as before. The lyrics hint of dehumanization and the world drowning out our individual voices. Despite this, one voice persists — "Hello, is there anybody out there?" I think we all have that feeling from time to time, and "Hello" captures that feeling.
That voice calling out was mine back then. It's not so much now, but if you're reading this and it's your voice calling out, keep the faith and keep at it. It gets better.
(By the way, this is also a bit of an experiment in embedding YouTube videos on this blog — so if you're one of my handful of readers and you have problems viewing it, please let me know.)