Obviously no stranger to us here at B&G, and hopefully to most of you, Essex based Louise Parker has followed up her fun Christmas release ” Oh Santa” (which saw her crossing over to the UK pop charts for the first time) with her first single of 2021, “Paradise (Reimagined)”. And the two songs couldn’t be more of a contrast helping to demonstrate what a versatile writer and performer this UK rising star is, this latest release ostensibly celebrating the thrill of new love… but it actually goes much deeper than that!
A lot of Louise’s fans will already be familiar with the song itself, “Paradise” with its sublime lyrics is always a popular addition to her setlist when played live and this is actually the third time she has released it in various formats. As Louise explains “For some reason I always come back to it like unfinished business. Like me, this song has evolved since I first released it acoustically two years ago, it has transcended its original meaning and grown into something new. It’s still about planting that seed of romance and the excitement of the unknown, but the older I get the deeper I feel and the fairytale ending is now replaced with real and hard earned small victories. For me, this song shows my beautiful insecurities and enthusiastic mindset“.
Initially I thought this latest re-working was going to be another acoustic version but with a simple piano backing replacing the guitar, for that is how the entire first verse and chorus are presented. Addressed throughout to her new lover, the song begins with Louise’s suitably fragile vocals expressing her trepidation that the relationship may not last more than one night while telling how she is none the less determined to surrender to her feelings and make the most of whatever time they may have together because “we have found paradise“. So imagine my surprise when a louder than loud drum kicked in (honestly, I nearly jumped out of my skin on first listen!) after this mellow opening, heralding the start of a fuller accompaniment and stunning arrangement that explodes as the song progresses, its energy picking up alongside Louise’s soaring vocals while she sings about her determination to live for the moment. It pulls back temporarily for the break which sees her revisit her initial concerns, she’s obviously been through her fair share of heartache and refers to her heart being “black and blue“, pleading to her newly found love to “tell me the truth, is it me and you?“. The final chorus rises up again before returning beautifully and very effectively to the opening solo piano accompaniment for the song’s final few bars and outro.
A really emotional and no doubt relatable release all round, the essence of the song reminding me of the Gerry Goffin/Carole King penned classic ” Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”. Louise delivers an incredible vocal performance which comes right from her very being and this is surely a perfect song for the lovebirds among you to enjoy over the Valentine’s weekend… hopefully actually in person with your “someone special” without of course breaching Covid-19 guidelines!
Paradise (Reimagined) is out tomorrow, Friday 12th February
Pre-save/download the single here: https://snd.click/h8fxioav
Review written by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)