tremble clef

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Shola Ama, "You Might Need Somebody (Acoustic Version)" (1997)

"You might need somebody/You might need somebody too."

The real story, of course, lies in that "too." Although much of the song affects to be objective advice -- "When somebody reaches for your heart/Open up and let them through/Cause everybody, needs someone around/Things can tumble down on you" -- the way the chorus takes the basic imploration and adds a "too" every other line makes it clear that the singer is the foremost candidate seeking love. It's hardly impersonal advice, but one coming out of a deeply vested interest.

At the end of Shola Ama's cover version, she ad libs a confession to that effect: "I know I do." In that, it is somewhat less subtle than the Randy Crawford original, on which that phrase doesn't appear (in general, Shola doesn't seem to know how best to end the track). But on all other counts Shola's treatment -- specifically the acoustic version, as opposed to the more r'n'b version she had a hit with as her debut -- is more poignant than Randy's soft-jazz-rock original. Sung in a more clipped, urgent manner, to just a strummed guitar, this is terrifically plaintive. "You'll discover, when you look around, you don't have to be alone." On that line, heartstoppingly so.


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