Ghost Tracks: HALF A WOMAN, HALF A SHADOW
FEATURE – Ghost Tracks is a new 10-part series of articles where we take a fun look back at some of the forgotten and rarely ever mentioned Roxette songs from their incredible 30 year history.
“…Wash my pain… aaa-waaaaaay”
Remember this one?
1988’s Look Sharp! gets its fair share of representation to this very day. Aside from the obvious big four singles, whenever Per gets the chance, he’s constantly spruiking non-singles such as “Paint“ and “Sleeping Single.” But “Half a Woman, Half a Shadow” never gets a mention.
This is one of those rare moments where you could argue that the verses are more melodic and catchier than the chorus. “Love always change with the trees, the spring and the leaves, the waves on the seas…”, this stuff just rolls off the tongue.
The other cool fact is that apparently Marie wrote the music to this one. Too often Marie gets tarred with the “ballad” brush, but here’s a classic example of a cool, laid back pop gem that Marie penned!
This track is a lot of fun. Is it the strongest song on the album? No. Could it have been a single? Probably not. But still, it’s very catchy and bright. Very easy to listen to. Years ago, I recall playing this for a friend, a proud NON-Roxette fan. She laughed and said that the song sounded like something she would have listened to as an 8 year old, prancing around her house in a pink tutu. I think she meant it as an insult – I thought it was a great compliment! Deep down, isn’t that what good pop music is supposed to make you feel like? Don’t we all just want to prance around carefree in a tutu listening to pop? Well Thomas Evensson does! OK, maybe not, let’s get back to the music.
Musically, this has a very distinct 80s sound and those unmistakable guitars help give it a very strong “Roxette” feel but what the heck happened at the end with THAT ending? Sounds like the synths were suddenly played in reverse and to me, it really spoils what was a simple, melodic pop track. It comes out of nowhere and sounds like someone had a fit on the keyboards and collapsed on it. Don’t you think? Why didn’t they just fade out on that repeating guitar riff and not add that very sudden and intense synth thing? The ending to this lovely little song is such a shame… a bit like that abrupt and sudden end to the incredibly beautiful “Doesn’t Make Sense to Me” – but that’s another debate for another time.
Interestingly, according to setlist.fm, this song DID get a live treatment and is listed as having been played live in an acoustic version on November 22nd 1989 at Kurhalle Oberlaa, Vienna Austria as part of the Look Sharp! Live European Tour. Who knew? Now, anyone that has THAT rare recording, you know where to send it!
Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?
“…Love sleeps all alone, the cold telephone…”