In honour of my new play, BIG IN GERMANY, which is all about Canadian rock music and growing up in Toronto in the 1990s, I’m going to share a CanCon music video everyday. BIG IN GERMANY plays at Buddies in Bad Times April 9-21. Get tickets here.
And now the song that scored every fantasy I ever had about a straight friend from 2000-present:
SoulDecision weren’t really a boyband, although they fell into that kind of easy marketing bracket because it was the late 90s, the lead singer is very attractive, one of the guys in the band has unfortunate facial hair, and they made easy-sounding pop music. But they actually wrote all their own songs, played their own instruments, and didn’t dance.
Come to think of it, Canada only produced a couple of boybands. There was B4-4 (of “If you get down on me, I’ll get down on you” infamy) and these guys, and they were both terrible even by the standards of 90s boybands. And I guess 3Deep counted as CanCon, even though they were 2/3 American. (No, the Moffats don’t count for the same reasons SoulDecision don’t.)
Anyway, “Faded” deviated from the boyband script in another important way: the song is incredibly sexy. And I don’t mean “sexy” in that cartoonish B4-4 way, or look-at-my-happy-trail / shirts off in the rain because I’m sad you’re cheating on me way. I mean sexy in a “by the end of this song, I will unambiguously be penetrating you” way.
I’m actually surprised to learn that the version of the song I heard on the radio and MuchMusic all through 2000 was a censored version. The opening line, “When I get you all alone, I’m gonna move in nice and close” is originally “When I get you all alone, I’m gonna take off all your clothes.” I actually prefer the edit to be honest — it sets up the chase that he’s describing much better, whereas the alternative sounds a bit rape-y.
So soulDecision is in love/lust with a “friend” who they desperately want to have sex with. In fact, ever since the friend’s been hanging around, they’ve been trying to figure out what they can say to get some play. But the friend is sending maddeningly mixed signals — holding soulDecision’s body tight, making soulDecision sweat, and causing lead singer Trevor Guthrie to be basically pant out his vocals — and they even did something kind of naughty last night. Although whatever it was, they apparently didn’t go all the way. But now, aided by some liquid confidence, soulDecision would like to cut the crap and get it on.
The most frustrating part of this song when I was a kid was that SoulDecision never revealed the secret formula for getting from “friend” to “lover”. I mean, they couldn’t have been advocating just getting drunk and trying out the chorus? “Can we do what we did last night again? Baby you and I would be better friends. Don’t you think it’s time we went a bit further?” That’s a psych-up speech for getting ready to make their move, as indicated by the “thinking about making my move tonight” repeated over and over.
Oh well, I never had the balls to try asking someone out in high school. But I’m glad I had “Faded” to score some of those fantasies.
(In case you’re curious, soulDecision released one more album before breaking up in 2005. Trevor Guthrie is still making music — and at age 40, still incredibly goodlooking. You can find his music on his MySpace page.)