“Love me, love me; say you do
Let me fly away with you
For my love is like the wind,
And wild is the wind…
You touch me,
I hear the sound of mandolins.
You kiss me,
With your kiss my life begins.”
Before I get into dissecting this song, let’s get something out of the way: Amel Larrieux has one of the most beautiful voices and incredible vocal range of any person (man or woman) to ever sing R&B, as showcased by her very short-lived career as one half of Groove Theory. “Lovely Standards”, an album featuring covers of jazz classics, made some fans wary upon announcement, but the finished product was as sublime as her ethereal, angelic voice. Amel’s voice lends such tender longing and earnestness to “Wild Is the Wind”, arguably the most evocative, emotionally-transparent, effusive and shockingly sweet love song to have been penned in the preceding century. Amel’s vocal stylings, ever aerial, rift, and even sigh only enhances the beauty of those words.
One of the greatest things about growing up in the 90s was the amazing R&B music of the time. Unlike today’s R&B, which is mostly saturated with lyrics about cheating, trying to cheat, and meaningless sex, the 90s offered a buffet of “I want to get to know you”, “I’m falling in love”, and “I want to make love” records.
I was only 10 years old when Groove Theory, featuring the amazing (and amazingly underrated) croonings of Amel Larrieux released the single “Tell me” and even as a child, I understood that I was listening to something incredible. Besides the almost supernatural vocals, the lyrics were a straight-forward, no-bullshit confessional of attraction and genuine interest in a relationship, all tied up in a slow-dance, bob-your-head-worthy groove.
Sometimes, I think about this song and the many others that I sang when I was too young to understand the full breadth of these emotions and I’m almost saddened for today’s generation, in which such a powerful influence as music lacks any mention of real relationships and romance.
Luckily, “Tell me” has never gotten old, and when I hear some nonsense lyrics about juggling multiple women, I can always turn up the volume and drown it out.