Top 40 single reviews

Journey

Open Arms

Album: Escape

Year: 1982

                 Steve Perry hopes the problems and issue make his relationship grow stronger with his girlfriend in the loving “Open Arms.”

                A gushing piano opens the single, setting a doting tone.  She reaches to touch his palm, tracing her fingers back and forth. She tells him he missed him and she’s glad they found each other again. He thinks of what they went through: getting together in their early 20s and then breaking up two years into it. His career had a jump start while she was struggling with hers. They broke up and didn’t talk for a while. It wasn’t until last month she called him. Gradually, they began to talk more and he invited her to go out with him a couple times. Now, they are dating again. (“Lying beside you/Here in the dark/Feeling your heartbeat with mine/Softly you whisper/You're so sincere/How could our love be so blind/We sailed on together/We drifted apart/And here you are/By my side.”)

              In the chorus, he knows they have to be open and honest with each other if it’s going to work. He doesn’t want her to feel as though she should keep her past relationships a secret with him. They both needed time to grow up. (“So now I come to you/With open arms/Nothing to hide/Believe what I say/So here I am/With open arms/Hoping you'll see/What your love means to me/Open arms.”)

            Their time apart was excruciatinng for him. No matter where in he went in his home, he saw a memory of them together. Within a couple months, he realized he let his ego decide his future. He really should’ve supported her more. (“Living without you/Living alone/This empty house seems so cold/Wanting to hold you/Wanting you near/How much I wanted you home.”)

                In the bridge, he says he’s no longer depressed. He can’t make the same mistake again. (“But now that you've come back/Turned night into day/I need you to stay.”)

                  The chorus is sung again to end the single.

                 Perry is grateful for the second chance. He won’t take it for granted. Now, the important thing for him to remember is not to get caught up in the past. He may not like hearing about her ex-boyfriends but she’s here with him now.

             The   “Open Arms” breathes a sigh of relief that everything worked out.

 

Mariah Carey

Open Arms

Album: Daydream

Year: 1995

                                Mariah Carey wants her relationship to really work out this time in the tentative “Open Arms.”

                             Carey’s soft vocals open the single as the affectionate piano is gradually phased into the song.

                               There are no lyric changes. The piano is the part of the arrangement to survive. A cautious drum replaces the guitars.

                              The relationship was fraught with problems and issues. There was so much drama. She’s surprised he even answered her call. She cheated on him and even though she knew it was wrong, she still continued to see the other man. She’s prepared to hear stuff she doesn’t want and forgive him.

                             “Open Arms” may not be Journey’s  best single but Perry gets straight to the emotion in. It’s heartfelt and meaningful just like the interactions the couple share in the single. Carey’s version is going through the motions of a perfect relationship. She may say she loves him but there is a wish for something more.

                            The  reluctant  “Open Arms” finds Carey crawling back to what she knows.


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