Listen to my voice softly because I care: Joey Ramone (& a hat tip to Philip Shelley)
I’m just a sucker for Joey Ramone’s soft voice. He recorded one of my two all-time favorite covers with It’s a Wonderful World (the other is the former Student Teacher’s Philip Shelley’s unrecorded version of Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right, which I had on a cassette tape for the longest time before it sucuumbed to the ravages of my glove compartment.)
Ramone sings slowly about love and you believe him. He’s hanging around the song, going inside it, teasing the song with a strong emotion that the lyrics and the melody can’t quite do justice to, a long, weary arc that takes all of us back to an adolescent moment that I don’t really think Ramone ever felt. I mean, he could sing it, so he could feel it, but he never felt it, and that’s why he can be so languid and affectionate.
I know you didn’t ask, but here you go anyway…a sample from Shelley.