"If You Don't Care" by Levi WashingtonReview
This week's offering from Levi Washington is "If You Don't Care" and it's an acknowledgement of the date of its release, albeit, in the inimitable fashion of its creator, from a perspective more understandable than expected.It's one of those unrequited love affairs which must occur as often as the requited sort on Valentine's Day & thus a greetings card for those unlikely to receive the conventional kind.
The style this week is of the soul variety: possibly of the Hall & Oates 1980s variety more than pure Motown & permits the composer to let rip with layers of evoked melancholy and the performer with his highest range as he expresses his anguish.
It's difficult to dissect "If You Don't Care" too much, certainly not in relation to most of his recent songs which have their layers and ambiguities. This one aims for the heart & doesn't mess around with playing with the dangers of possibly being misunderstood: it says what the label states. This is a sad man regretting that his love exceeds that of the object of his affections and wants her to understand his reactions to that. This is a time for directness of message & that's what we get, apart from a diversion into a more military metaphor which stops the lyrics being like many of similar songs from the history of the human heart: but even they are not so much clichés as articulations of a story as old as time where details may differ but the essence remains sadly constant.
Musically, we get a classy restrained affair, clipped licks & beats with the briefest of lachrymose guitar solos (and even that's not high in the mix): this is all about the vocal and it's one of his best of this style. It sounds so genuine that you can hardly doubt that he is singing from experience….