Something Old Becomes Something New For The Holidays
Posted on November 23, 2020
One of the reasons Ralph and I began a friendship that turned into 25 years–soon to be 26 in February next year–is due to the music of Roxette. We loved their music, and bonded over their first album that hadn’t been released in the US, and all the new singles and albums that came after. The music of Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson was, in a word, magic. I even penned an open letter to them back in 2012 on my blog. Roxette released more music since 2012, but, unfortunately, Marie Fredriksson passed away last December after a 17 year battle with cancer. Half the magic was gone. Flash forward to a year later, enduring COVID, an election from Hell, and trying to stay safe from our friends, co-workers, and complete strangers (in the shops) and everything continued to look bleak. Until…
Ralph and I headed out Saturday to run a few errands and me casually mentioned “Did you hear Roxette’s new single?” Uh, no. I figured one of two things; either Per released a song of his own under the Roxette name, or he brought on another singer to take Marie’s place. It didn’t occur to me he released a previously unreleased track, or that there’d be more to come. Let Your Heart Dance With Me is more of a Per song, but Marie’s voice magically appears during the chorus and I immediately had goosebumps on my arms.
Don’t bore us, get to the chorus.
That was one of Roxette’s beliefs when it came to their music. As much as I will always love The Look and Listen To Your Heart from Look Sharp!, their Joyride album felt like their pinnacle. Even a song of theirs meant for the film Hocus Pocus that wound up in Super Mario Brothers, Almost Unreal, continued their trend of audio happiness. Their later albums felt like they started missing having fun during their sessions. A bit of the magic presented itself towards the end, but it would never be what it was. And when Marie passed, it felt as if a bright star in the sky went out.
Our relationship to the group lasted some 32 years. That’s a pretty long time. To have it all…cease…well, that’s one more disappointment in a 12 month period of disappointments. Then Let Your Heard Dance With Me appears. There are some 40+ songs that are going to be released from the Roxette archives over the next couple of weeks. While there will never be another new song with both their voices together, these tracks offer us one more glimpse into what was. It’s like having a door close that’s never going to be opened again, then discovering there’s a window you can’t quite fit through, but you can stand in front of, look, listen, and feel the warmth of the settling room.
So, just in case I don’t get the chance to post something later this week, Happy Thanksgiving! And take one last dance with me…before the darkness.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.