Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Danny Reisch at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
Spandau Ballet's "True" is a song that falls into that very rare category where the second anyone, anywhere hears the opening juts of guitar and those warm synth chords, they can instinctively begin singing along. There's no waiting for the words to come to them. There's no gap in recognition and participation that other familiar songs have as a disadvantage. Most people aren't going to know all the words -- in fact, they might only know the smallest piece of the song -- but they are going to dig deep down and hit some of the more emotive moments of the song, the parts where you tend to feel like you're showing too much of yourself. Spandau Ballet songs epitomize this kind of a feeling -- where you're making yourself uncomfortably vulnerable. You really couldn't be laying it all out on the table anymore than you already are. These are public displays of affection draped in something like a private exchange between the two involved people. These stories are incredibly personal and they deal with the many ways that other people let us down. We're reminded of why we loved and trusted them in the first place, but we get around to those cracks in the foundation sooner or later. These feelings come and go, but each time they get heavy and unbearable, they leave a sticky film behind, or a thick rut, like a chair digging its legs into a wood floor. We bear the scars. We're fools enough to love and to need. We're smart enough to forgive and forget when it all goes to hell but we aren't destroyed by it.