When it all comes together,
This review is from: Angel (MP3 Music)
I remember very distinctly when this single was released in 2001. I was living in the Bay Area (California) at the time, going to school. The song was all over the radio and was played frequently at the UC Berkeley gym where I would work out after class most days of the week. I didn't have any sort of portable music player at the time (I think in fact that people were still listening to CDs on those compact players that were inconvenient to bring to the gym) so I was pretty much subjected to whatever was currently being played on local radio. I often heard then-new U2 from the album All That You Can't Leave Behind as well as Fatboy Slim and a lot of random hip-hop. This song fit nicely into the mix, although I started to grow a little tired of it at the time due to the constant overplay it received. And then it started being played less, and I graduated and moved on.
The thing is, though, that a really good, catchy song never exactly leaves you. Fast forward a decade to 2011 and I found myself for some reason humming this one to myself as I was looking for upbeat songs to put on the iPod I take with me to the gym. Well of course, it only makes sense, that's the association I have. So I pulled it up on youtube and listened to it again with a whole new set of ears so to speak. No longer was this the flavor-of-the-month, the song that was a little too persistent on the radio. By now it's been a bit forgotten, times have changed, and it can stand on its own for me as just a song and no more.
As such, it's a great song. Shaggy managed to pull off quite a feat here - taking some existing material and reshaping it into something that is new, current and real. He merged a classic song ("Angel of the Morning") with a cheesy Steve Miller sample and a set of lyrics about commitment through adversity to create a song far greater than the sum of its parts. The song feels real and relatable, especially for anyone who has been in a committed relationship through hard times. It also manages to be upbeat and relaxed, not feeling forced in any way. Simply put this song is a real gem, a moment when a bunch of influences and experiences have magically come together to create one of those perfect musical moments. It certainly deserved all the radio play it got in its time, although overplaying anything is not a good way to go.
The rest of this particular single is interesting but nonessential. The remix is good, the instrumental track is fine, and the live version works...but the original is really all you need. It's one of those songs that stands the test of time, and I am sure that when I heard it a decade or two decades into the future I will still love it just as much as I do now.