I am a massive fan of the Piano accompanied by a unique voice.
This is highly likely influenced by the fact I play the piano, and I am not blessed with a voice to match. However, my own bias to one side, when I hear a song start with just notes on a piano, I know I am about to listen to a conversation between two instruments. In the ‘Man Who Laughs’, the dialogue is started with a trill of notes on the piano, waiting for an answer to know it has been heard. As I wait for a response, I am forced to listen all the more closely. The reward is that I cannot help but be carried away by the music when it comes. When the voice, as an instrument, plays off the depth and range of a piano, it evokes our emotions. It’s a winning combination. In the “Man Who Laughs“, G.E.M. tells a love story as old as time, knowing she is not the first to be scared by love that leaves or the first to heal a broken heart. The story reminds us that sometimes to love someone is to wish for their happiness, even if it comes with the realisation that we must let them go.
The first time I heard G.E.M. sing live, she sat looking nervous in front of a piano she was starting in her career. She was worried about playing, yet as soon as her fingers met the keys, she prepared to transform, and along with everyone else in the room, I sat amazed at the range and passion in her voice. When she stopped playing, the somewhat nervous young woman returned even though the entire room was applauding.
When I pressed play to listen to “Man who laughs“, the chord progression captured my attention, and we learn of the sadness of having to say goodbye to someone we love, setting the tone for the story that, from the start, conveys the sadness of letting go. As the song progresses, the piano begins to flow and is soon accompanied by strings as she sings of wanting happiness for the man who leaves her even if it results in her being alone. Fans of G.E.M.’s singing will not be disappointed as the passion and range in her voice excel, accompanied by the rousing score of violins. As the song ends, it is played out on the piano alone, and the combination leaves me wanting more. The whole piece took me back to that first time I heard GEM sing and the sheer power in her voice. At its end, it reminds me of the nervous young woman who sat at the piano so wanting the audience to share the pleasure she got from performing, and it is great to hear that innocence and love for performing are still growing. I am curious now to watch the video that will no doubt accompany the song and see if what I imagined in my mind as I heard the song for the first time is anything like the video’s storyline. Regardless, go and buy a copy of this song and enjoy it for the sheer joy of hearing the piano and G.E.M.’s voices talking to each other as the story unfolds.