This was our first dance at my wedding, so certainly you can hear it, and use it, as sincere – but I’d be hard pressed to claim it’s meant to be taken that way. Or rather, sincerity is there in “The Power Of Love” if you want it, but the band aren’t using it the way you might expect.
I remember fierce anticipation for this song, and watching the slow, reverent video, and being weirdly unsettled and baffled: where was the confrontation? What were Frankie trying to do? I didn’t know anything about camp, and certainly there’s elements of camp in the supersaturated images and drenched production, but my original reaction was the right one: there’s something wilfully contrarian about the year’s most tabloid-ready band producing such a stately, solemn record. Their sincerity is a weapon: say you’re going to follow your records about sex and war with a record about religion, and you wrong-foot people into expecting the Pope wrestling Mohammed in a jelly bath.
If you disliked Frankie this all must seem an absurd stretch – they just made a pompous third single, that’s all. And fair enough: but “The Power Of Love” sounds like religion, or religion as experienced by the non-religious Brit, an osmosis of hymnal tempos and Hollywood technicolor devotion, simultaneously bogus and grand. Holly Johnson does what he needs to, leading you through the song without cracking a smile: Trevor Horn’s orchestration has an aloof, marbled beauty. God is not mocked. But perhaps He is trolled.