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20 July 2012 @ 01:36 pm
"Into The Night" by Benny Mardones is the whiniest love song ever created.  
... and it's creepy.

Yesterday, I was trying to shop in the supermarket, and I heard this horrible reminder of while I intensely disliked music from 1988-1991.

I am not a fan of ballads. Most of them are insincere, and are the Hallmark cards of love songs. I'm sorry, I have a list of these which includes "Wind Beneath my Wings," but "Into The Night" is one of those musical tragedies that Benny belches out like a drunken frat boy thinking if he fakes sincere romance, he's gonna get laid.

I know the song is way old, like from 1980, but thanks to a "Where are They Now" segment in 1989, he got famous again right around when I got married. A one hit wonder that should have died with disco, it snuck into the pile of dying heavy metal ballads that dominated the airwaves in the late 1980s and was found washed up on a dozen "Lite Rock" stations ever since.

First, Benny's voice is just terrible. Gravelly and full of sinus resonance, it has the musical range of a crying child reduced and octave or two. He might be more suited to blues music, but instead, he sings this "from the heart" schmaltz that is almost too desperate.

The piano that starts in seems to be played at a much different tempo, like the guy they hired was told it was a different style of song altogether. Right off the bat, I wonder if I played two sound files that are overlapping.

"She's just sixteen years old... Leave her alone, they say..."

Uh, yeah. Unless you are also 16. Now, in anime fandom, I know some people who are 16. Most are decent, smart people, but I wouldn't want to date one at 43. I probably wouldn't have wanted to date one when I was 21, either, and not because I was already married, but because there's just a level of relationship immaturity that I would have been incompatible with. This opening lyric is creepy, because they tell you to "leave her alone" for a reason, dude. "Dirty Dancing," would have ended differently in real life. Nobody puts baby in a corner indeed.

Anyway, most of it is this older guy belting out his lust-filled hopes and dreams to a teenager. But okay, maybe he's also 16 or 17. But what does he know about love, then? Or as an adult? The lyrics are terrible, I can't even make sense of them:

"It's like having a dream where nobody has a heart. It's like having it all
and watching it fall apart and I would wait till the end of time for you."

Kind of like a zombie apocalypse, maybe? Maybe he meats heart in a metaphoric sense, like, "It's like having a dream where no one has any feelings of decency for fellow human beings. It's also like having a lot of stuff, and then losing it which leads to waiting out the rest of my days hoping you'd ... see me?" What a pathetic loser. I can't figure out what he's trying to convey to this teenager, or fellow drunken roommates about how much he wants this 16 year old to love him. This makes even less sense, because in the lyrics before these, he wants to fly in like fucking Superman and take her up high and show her "a love you've never seen." The mile high club? Having sex in an airplane toilet?

Okay, so some of Lady Gaga's stuff isn't that great, either. But she puts it in a pop beat that doesn't try to be anything else but uplifting and making you want to dance and sing the chorus. This guy... gees.

But I didn't even try and decipher the lyrics until this post. What I really wanted to complain about is the desperate, whiny, belching form this song has. It has shitty pentameter, and the lyrics don't really match the tempo. It's like he didn't rehearse, and was reading from a cue card. "Just put any old white bread and unoffensive music in the background," he seemed to say, "I got got these slick lyrics that will make the teen cashier at Shop-Rite show me her boobs." Like he recorded it at one of those country fairs. "Look, I am the white Marvin Gaye," he seems to want to say. And Marvin would have said, "Uh, no. You wish." Marvin was awesome. Benny is like the kind of music you pay cheap royalties for as part of a "mood catalog."

This song should be thrown out like Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby."
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Milliezellion on July 20th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
What's funny is that, since the song has been around forever my views have changed. When I was 16 I thought it was romantic and wonderful. Now I'm 30 and agree with you- creepy as hell!!
Milliezellion on July 20th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
Also, um, hi. Random person who followed you from reddit because I liked your writing.