Friday, May 27, 2005
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
It's quite possible there has never been a love song quite this perfect. Proper, pure, almost metaphysical in its plainly-expressed, heartrendingly-sung beauty. There's not a single thing out of place here. Led by a wispy bass, with reflective taps on a hi-hat to punctuate the solemn, early-hours-of-the-morning feel, and then Roberta Flack's voice that grows from a gentle murmur to a soaring call, and then drops back to a gentle valediction. You could listen to this anywhere: on a beach at sunrise, in your bed at three in the morning while your love sighs in their sleep next to you, in a roadside cafe in the middle of nowhere or in the depths of despair. It works every time.