SONG CLUB REVIEW: “Now That Your Love Is Gone” by SoulStone
(This post is based on the script Mark David Stallard wrotefor The Invisible Song Club live show.)
"Now That Your Love Is Gone" starts with a spoken introduction with a slow pianoplaying in the background, accenting the words. An introduction like this risksbecoming cheesy, particularly if the words are too much on the nose. Thisintroduction is not. I listened to the intro many times trying to figure outwhy it works. And I think it is because it sets the scene, the background, but doesn’tgive away the rest of the song. The voice is sad, but calm. And while it seemsthe singer has intellectually accepted the situation, the rest of the songclearly outlines that he hasn’t or can’t move on. And above all, it’s short,and to the point. It leads into the song, but doesn’t overshadow it. Had itgone on longer, I might be giving a different review.
The piano picks up in rhythm and volume, some chimes ringout softly, and we’re pulled in. The vocals start and the rest of the bandjoins in, cementing a soulful groove. The melody weaves up and down, climbing afew tones and then coming down to the root. Returning us quickly to where themusical phrase started. This is kind of bittersweet, because while we feel the resolution,it is far from satisfying. Letting the tension build over the whole verse wouldprovide a bigger pay off. And so, we’re taken up and down emotionally, lettingus imagine the range of conflicting emotions in the situation outlined in thesong.
The chorus takes the emotion higher, with theinstrumentation increasing in volume, the passion in the lead singer’sperformance is echoed by the tight harmonies of the backing vocals. Unlike theverse the chorus does not resolve back to the root. It hangs, letting thetension remain. It repeats and then again, and then brings it back down with“Now That Your Love has Gone”. And so the tension is resolved. The chorus does this twice.
The second verse brings in a couple of new solo voices, eachwith their own unique sound, but similar enough to move from one to the otherwithout being jarring. Emotion in at least one of the voices, occasionallycracking. The artists are clearly feeling what they’re singing. There is a realsincerity in their performances.
After a short guitar solo they add a bridge, which pulls thesong back and adds a brighter melody, as the lyrics make it clear that this isreally not a full acceptance of the situation. The singer’s voice crescendosand brings us satisfyingly down and back to the chorus.
The song ends, nicely bookended by the same slow piano of the introduction.
Usually at this point, I’d quote a phrase or two that Iliked in the lyrics. But with this song I can’t. There are no clever or wittyphrases. Rather, the lyrics read like a poem. A powerful poem. Read through thewhole of second verse, and you’ll see what I mean.
-- Mark David Stallard