Saturday, 5 September 2009

1988 Glen Medeiros: Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You

If history tells us anything it's that the UK charts will always have room in its bosom for a pretty boy singer with a bright white smile on his face and a soppy ballad on his lips. So far the eighties have given us Johnny Logan and Nick Berry - they came, they saw, they conquered and, job done, they drifted off into obscurity.

Unlike Johnny and Nick, Glen actually had a half decent song to sing courtesy of Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin. Or rather, it was a half decent enough song when George Benson sang it in 1984; just about the best and worst thing you can say about the melody to 'Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You' is that it's pretty. Prettiness alone won't carry it far though and it needs a thick coat of paint from either the vocalist or the arrangement to give it a dimension other than twee. The way George did in fact.

Medeiros's version, however, dispenses with Benson's light and soulful touch in favour of (the by now grating) Linn drums and an abrasive plink plonk electric piano, two instruments guaranteed to suck the soul out of anything the way a naked flame burns oxygen, even more so when they are drenched in reverb and echo the way they are here.

His self production creates solemn cathedrals of dead space that his flat voice just can't fill by itself, and despite being mixed well to the fore, his breathless delivery`floats beneath the backing music in a key of its own. It gives the sound a nervy, edgy feel, almost as if something is perpetually on the point of collapsing and it creates a tension that doesn't make for a relaxing soundtrack for life's more passionate moments.

But despite these shortcomings, the song's inherent sweetness saves it from disaster. Predictable though it may be, it is a pretty enough ditty that, although not everybody's cup of tea, does provides the kind of mawkish sentimentality that will always find it's own level with a correspondingly willing audience. And in this case, the overdose of saccharine will forever be tempered by knowing that the cheesy grin he wears on the cover to this would soon be wiped off by a scathing Juke Box Jury panel who would reduce him to tears on air. Schadenfreude the Germans call it, but I just thought it served him right.

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