Tuesday, 1 September 2009

1988 Belinda Carlisle: Heaven Is A Place On Earth

Out of all the former Go Go's, you wouldn't have pegged Belinda Carlisle as the 'girl most likely to' in the solo career stakes (that would have been Jane Wiedlin). And yet here we are.

A pop/rock hybrid with added clout, 'Heaven Is A Place on Earth' is aspirational, good time music. A song to soundtrack driving a fast two seat, low slung car along a wide highway at night, roof down and the girl (or boy) of your dreams in the passenger seat. It matters not if all this only exists in your head; with this on the radio, even the M25 on a wet Monday can be transformed into the Pacific Coast Highway in high summer, albeit temporarily. Who cares if it was only January, Belinda brings the sun with her as soon as she starts singing:


"When the night falls down

I wait for you
And you come around

And the world's alive
With the sound of kids

On the street outside
"


The pauses after each line generate a tense anticipation with Carlisle's vocal always seeming to climb the register to hyper aware euphoria over the low guitar based rumble of the verses even when it isn't, and by the time she gets to the barbed hook chorus she sounds so happy she could burst. Belinda is in love, she wants to tell the world and that's it. There's no irony, no sarcasm, no hidden meanings, no agenda, no metaphor, no depth and nothing bittersweet - as direct as a punch in the face, the song is what it is, and that's the best song about falling in love since XTC's 'Senses Working Overtime'.


"Baby I was afraid before, but I'm not afraid anymore" - you tell them girl.


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