“Hello, you fool. I love you. Come on, join the joyride.”
There were fewer sweeter words in 1991 for an almost fourteen year old girl on the cusp of growing up. Adulthood glimmered on the horizon, promising the sort of carefree independence and confidence that this song so perfectly encapsulated. Come the grand old age of sixteen, and certainly by eighteen, life would be full of fun summer weekends, friends, cars, and, of course, love.
And wouldn’t it all just be that easy? You found someone you were interested in, you announced your affections, and let the festivities begin? No, it never was quite that simple, but Roxette sure had a way of making it seem like it. Marie Fredriksson’s confident alto, combined with Per Gessle’s husky, sexy voice – man, what a pair. It didn’t even matter that no one really knew what “magic friends” were, or what on earth someone was doing telling secrets in a balloon – a wonderful balloon, to boot. So the lyrics didn’t make much sense? No one cared. The song wasn’t about making sense, it was about selling the feeling of the sun beating down on your shoulders as you set off on your next great adventure. And it sold it all the way to #1 on the Billboard Charts.
Of all the songs on this first half of mixtape #1, this one has best stood the test of time. Oh, it’s easily placed in 1991, no doubt, but it sounds much less dated than its New Jack Swing and pop ballad contemporaries. It still makes the rounds on today’s radio from time to time (I’ll smack anyone that dares put it on an ‘oldies’ station), alongside similar pop-rock from the likes of U2, Genesis, and INXS, and rightly so, as it’s a damn catchy tune.
And for all you Roxette fans out there, they just released their latest album last year. Don’t be surprised if they go on tour near you …