Pro Love

Corinne Bailey Rae’s husband Jason Rae died in his sleep, his breathing suppressed by an accidental overdose of methadone.  It’s difficult to listen to her singing “I’d Do it All Again” and not imagine you are hearing a woman coming to terms with the death of her lover.  In fact, the song was written hard on the heels of a marital argument, yet everything about it, from the strumming of her guitar, to the ethereal back-up singers (Bailey over-dubbed), and her wise, despairing lyrics, in which a lover is warned he is chasing after something that cannot possibly make him happy, lends itself to requiem.  The song begins quietly and builds to a crescendo—bumping into some bent blue notes on the way—and doubles back to its tranquil origins.  A lover’s declaration that she is in for the duration, and immune to consequence.  Here is an anthem for all those who believe that happiness is a possible by-product of love, but by no means essential. You come away from the song feeling that, really, happiness is for amateurs.

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