In this series, we look at the dance floor tearjerkers that make your night special, whether that's at the height of your high or the plateau. Electronic music has the power to break hearts and this is an appreciation of those songs.
"In Love With You" is a song by The Paradise, a moniker for the collaboration between French house artist Alan Braxe and the lesser known Romauld. It was released in 2003 on Vulture Music. "In Love With You" has never played at a particularly poignant moment of my life, but it sounds like so many poignant moments in my life. It's the simultaneous sound of total, heart-shredding anguish, hopeful recovery and pins-and-needles, misty-eyed love all over again.
It's an extremely simple song, and short. It slowly looms into focus with a chorus of angelic voices, like a few beams of light peering through some already warm clouds. That's the thing about this track, it's so heavenly, it's like being welcomed through the pearly gates by some kindly but quite buff angels. The softer intro chords drum in until it sweeps subtly into the harder, emotional chords. You can imagine the keyboardist leaving smudges of blood from their finger tips with the force they're hitting the ivories. A slightly distant, filtered voice hums and woos in the background and the drums trundle with the track. It's a song unable to keep itself together emotionally, an aimless yelp of devotion, pain and desire. The vocal line is eponymous, a sample, simply repeating 'in love with you' in an R'n'B / funk style.
And it continues like this, unwavering, until a small, calm breakdown, before launching straight back into the dizzying beauty. Then it sort of floats off, like a footprint in white sand being blown over.
The refrain is perhaps the most affecting part of the song for me. In love with you as a statement can be one of contentment or desperation. It can be something you think when looking into someone's eyes or watching them walk away. It's something I thought as a teenager when my first girlfriend forced a kiss on me, and then again when she told me we couldn't see each other any more, and got on the Jubilee line while I sat and cried on the train platform. It's a simple line that defines the most pivotal of our feelings towards each other, and it doesn't need to explain itself, in any context. It is what it is.
As I said before, I haven't heard this in a dance (yet). It hasn't been playing while I embrace someone, or have the night of my life, or look at someone beautiful. But it sounds exactly like all those moments, and that's why it's so powerful. When I listen to it I don't remember a time or a place, I remember all the times and places, all the love I've had and the heartbreak I've endured, all the people I've cared for, the things I've seen and done. How these two Frenchmen have managed to create a song that contains all these elements is beyond my comprehension. I would say it takes a complex mind to pinpoint those feelings so accurately, but I'm not sure it does. It's such a basal thing, you strip away your eyelash flutters, banter and bravado and you're just left with an inescapable rawness that you must deal with. Everyone feels them, but to take such an amorphous and powerful thing and transfer it to sound is nothing short of genius.
"In Love With You" by The Paradise sounds like the rest of my life. It sounds like all the trials and tribulations I will have to endure, all the happiness I will experience and the sadness that evens it out. It's a song that says a phenomenal amount with such little time and tools that it is surely nothing short of a masterpiece. A stroke of pure magic, that I could listen to forever and it would still evoke the same strong reaction in me. The tune itself will never change but I will, and so will the people I care for, and everyone else around me. It'll always sound like those things because they're constant, they never change. The human experience may shift in time and culture but we'll always be falling in love with each other and breaking each other's hearts. We can be sure of that, at least.
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