Last night, as an experiment more than anything else, I posted one of the recent songs that I've recorded - a demo, that is - "Love Is More Than Words" written by Martin Briley (Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, *N Sync, etc.) and since the direction of this genuinely beautiful ballad is so different from the rest of my songs of the pending album, I wondered if you, my listeners, friends, colleagues, would identify with it and not feel all the more confused by the diversity of the material! After all, the variety of directions and the need for serious filtering of my record in the making was an issue that was immediately brought up by several A&R pros (not the "accountant-turned-into-A&R" types but the real, traditional artist & repertoire professionals - too bad it's a rare, dying breed these days!)
Anyway, getting back to the latest addition to myspace music player, although I always thought there was something utterly personal and personable about this song, I wasn't expecting the wealth of positive response I've had from you all in the past 24 hours.
There's a special responsibility, I suppose, undertaken by every artist covering a song composed by another songwriter (particularly someone of Martin's caliber) and I felt somewhat intimidated and, to be honest, a bit nervous when I first performed the song for Martin at the studio. It was, in fact, our first face-to-face meeting, although we had spoken on the phone beforehand. So you can roughly imagine the level of responsibility I was carrying on my shoulders - he could have easily asked me to pack up and have a nice day :-)
The demo vocal performance over the existing backing track of "Love Is More Than Words" is exactly what you're hearing on my home page now... For a whole bunch of personal reasons (meaning those uneasy experiences that always seem to come across quite clearly through a song, but at times you wish life would be slightly easier without them!) I could truly relate to every line in the lyric, and even felt slightly "naked" because of the utter honesty and relevance of the story.
I always used to question if artists who said that they relived every syllable of a song (particularly the ones written by composers other than themselves) had really felt so connected with the piece of music to the point of achieving such intimacy and honesty with a 3-minute composition. As it turned out, every time we rolled the tape (figuratively speaking, unfortunately, as I do wish we still used the old, vintage technology!) for a new take, there was a strong sense of being one-on-one with the song, the lyric. Perhaps you're more likely to feel that way when you're recording a song of your own - an offspring of your very own emotions and experiences - but not too likely a phenomenon in this case!
The morning after demoing the song, I sent it to one of my true mentors - someone I have enormous respect and admiration for, and the one who, next to my executive producer, understands me musically better than anyone else I have encountered in the music world. I still remember what he said: "I strongly believe 'Love Is More Than Words' will become a very important song in your career - perhaps one of the most important ones for you."
I've now had a chance to perform this ballad a few times live in an acoustic set up - Billy Jay Stein on piano and a nice microphone :-) and have to admit that deep down, I always look forward to it!
Perhaps one day soon, I will be able to share it with all of you in this very acoustic, intimate manner....