Monday, November 21, 2005

Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman-- the mighty Meat Loaf's long-time collaborator. His music conjures bombast and over-the-top theatrics. His critics see him as being grandiose and overblown. But he isn't one to ever go "halfway" in any endeavour. Every song is performed with such intense passion and fervor as if he's emptying his creative tank for every nuance, every lyric. Each song has a "live for the moment" intensity that lights a fire in the soul and crescendoes into a bonfire of pure passion- for love, for life.

Jim Steinman doesn't just live he lives out loud-- he doesn't write songs he writes anthems that most of us find ourselves relating to whether we want to admit it or not.

He is the horomone-addled teenage boy (Paradise By the Dashboard Light, Surf's Up, Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young), the melancholy lover on the bitter end of unrequited love (Two Out of Three Ain't Bad, Total Eclipse of the Heart), or the wistful friend waxing nostalgic of times passed and friends long since disappeared from life (Objects In the Rearview Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are). And even when we can't relate-- we empathize.

The songs are vignettes from a life lived poetically. His yearning ballad, Surf's Up captures the excitement and nervousness of a first awkward sexual experience. Left In the Dark tells the tale of a man whose wife has been unfaithful-- grasping for that hope that she still feels something for him-- it carries the bitter ache of a man who wishes he didn't know asking her for one last time to turn out the lights when they make love because he'd rather be "left in the dark." There's the anger, the melancholy, the yearning-- the whole overwhelming sea of emotions is sealed in every lyric. After all, when leaving a relationship has ended haven't we all wanted, on some level, to have been "left in the dark."

In short, Jim Steinman is the composer of the soundtrack of the extremes of human emotion.

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