Friday, 16 November 2012

Liza Minnelli - If there was love

So lately I've been delving into a lesser known area of Pet Shop Boys work - their production work. I've been particularly listening to two albums; Dusty Springfield's Reputation and Liza Minnelli's Results. I've really surprised myself at how much I've enjoyed both and Results is fast becoming a particular favorite of mine! The pinnacle of the album for me though I think is this track - If There Was Love. This is one of the tracks that was specifically written and recorded for Results. It's very typical Pet Shop Boys in style I think, it sounds very much like their Introspective era. The arrangement is dance oriented in a way, but it is executed in a very subtle manner. Its definitely got a softer arrangement than Loosing My Mind for instance. Lyrically, the song is very bleak, one of the bleakest sets of lyrics in the entirety of Pet Shop Boys really. The lyrics are utterly paranoid in terms of tone, its as if the narrator feels the world is in nothing but a mess, to the point were they've become disillusioned with it. Indeed they ponder if love really is enough to fix these problems. They've become so disillusioned though that they do even question does love exist to begin with - after all they ask if love exists rather than state its existence as a matter of fact. The lyrics do leave a lot to the reader though - despite asking in the chorus whether or not love is indeed enough to combat the worlds problems no answer is given, so we don't know the narrators view on the subject. Also, the recital at the end of the track is of Shakespeare's famous Sonnet 94. It goes very well with the track I think. Essentially, the sonnet states that those who acquire power and then abuse their position and essentially turn into bad people are far more condemnable than those who never were particularly great or pleasant to begin with. Personally, I wonder if the song is implicitly directed at politicians who get into power and then don't deliver but I could be clutching at straws there. The inclusion of the sonnet was a spontaneous one - one day Neil was searching through various sonnets and the like to find something to read at a friends funeral (the same funeral depicted in Pet Shop Boys b-side Your Funny Uncle) whilst a playback of If There Was Love was on. He came across Sonnet 94 and voila. Personally, I think the song has a message that still holds up some relevance today. Living in the place that I do, and hearing so much horrible stuff about the political conflict here, its a song that makes me think. Northern Ireland is so much better to live in but sometimes things happen and it makes me wonder will the conflict ever completely end. Anyhow, back to the song itself. I think this is a great track, to the point were I would love to hear Pet Shop Boys own version if it exists. Considering that they did record demos for other tracks on Results, like So Sorry I Said its entirely plausible they do have a version of this lingering around in the vaults. Even if they don't, they could always revisit it and re-record it, like they did with In Private. In any case, an excellent song that's as strong as Pet Shop Boys own recordings!

No comments:

Post a Comment