“(I Just) Died in Your Arms” brings back memories of the mid 1980s with its ample amount of hairspray, loud clothes, and bright-colored pop music pouring from stereo speakers worldwide. Patricia Lazzara and Steve Markoff’s return to the track, however, does more than slather a new coat of paint on a longtime pop standard. It remodels and re-envisions a classic bit of pop fluff as a far more substantive musical statement thus confounding how many first heard the song. It isn’t fluff at all. Commercial demands of the times pushed Cutting Crew to dress their track up with then-current production gimmicks but, shorn of such excesses, the song’s fundamentals shine.
Every songwriter should be so lucky. Markoff and Lazzara’s powers as interpretative musicians make anything they perform “their own” without ever attempting to supplement the writer’s original vision. Their flute interplay is more than sufficient to properly frame the song’s melodic strengths, but the duo hedges their bets. The added presence of piano player Allison Brewster Franzetti further fleshes out the song’s potential, though she’s never set in direct “competition” with the two flutists. She ties her contributions in as a response to Lazzara and Markoff’s playing and the percussive quality of her attack enhances the song.
Instrumentals seldom enjoy widespread appeal, so it’s a given that Patricia Lazzara and Steve Markoff are working in a niche market. It shouldn’t be so. The near-universal appeal of the original single gives the pair an excellent jumping off point for expanding their reputations on the back of this single. They are enormously skilled musicians, that’s true, but their musicianship isn’t an impediment to connecting with listeners.
It’s quite accessible. The nature of their music as opposed to the original’s gives the track a much different surface character, without a doubt, but the heart of the song remains unchanged. It’s escapist fare, but well worth your time. We need skillful distractions like this after reeling for nearly two years in a pandemic world and facing dawning threats. Yes, days like this demand vigilance, but everyone needs a respite from the world’s assault.
They can find it here. Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara aren’t recording music that challenges listeners to functions as some sort of call to arms. It’s music that revels in its humanness, embraces the magic of creation, and smooths over life’s rougher patches. “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” tonight isn’t even about its lyrics anymore. They could be a grocery list with random rhymes ending each line. Instead, songs like this have passed into the realm of myth, and the subject is really the individual memory of whomever hears the track.
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It may be worthwhile for this pairing to consider returning with a suitable follow-up along the same lines. They have a clear aptitude for bringing unlikely material to life for modern listeners without even a hint of irony or parody; “(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight” is a pure joy to hear and isn’t exhausted after a single listen.
The music of Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com