Monday, June 12, 2006

One Day In Your Life (1975) – Michael Jackson (Renee Armand/Sam Brown)

Dig down deep inside and you might be able to overlook his recent history as Wacko Jacko and the Smooth Criminal to a time when young Michael Jackson actually exuded innocence. Recording this Renee Armand/Sam Brown composition at 16 years old, Jackson’s fragile alto bleeds as tender a moment as one can have without outright collapsing into melodrama. Lachrymose in its content, maudlin in its expression, “One Day In Your Life” pulls no punches, aiming straight for the emotional Achilles heel with a progression of dominant and augmented chords so exquisitely arranged that they perform open heart surgery without anesthetic: it hurts, but deliciously so. Although laden with the pomp of Academy Award segue music, the arrangement intensifies the song’s poignant wistfulness. Jackson seeks to recapture erstwhile bliss by reuniting in memory. Resigned to the probability that he has forever lost someone who left him long ago, he holds on to the belief that the emptiness in her life will bring her back (yes, we’ll assume it’s a female, and not Emmanuel Lewis or Macaulay Culkin). The palliatives with which he neutralizes the bitter sting of rejection are syrupy, to be sure, yet efficaciously so.

As people pass in and out of our lives, a select few leave an indelible impression; if we are lucky enough, we reciprocate as best we can. Our paths may diverge, and the awareness that each moment of delight irreversibly fades away stifles the heart like a vise. Yet, the hope that we can entreat fate to reconsider its course heartens us to continue on.

  • Listen to "One Day In Your Life" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
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