22. Blue Pearl – (Can You) Feel The Passion

If Rage’s ‘Run To You’ was filled with tame but uncomfortable references to knobbing within a loving relationship, then Blue Pearl’s contribution to Rave ’92 is a steaming pile of mortification, the heavy-breathing being explicit enough to send good little Christian Kat scrambling for the fast-forward button.

Although (as previously documented) I’d had a massive crush on N1cky H for about six months, it was largely psychological as my pituitary gland was still dozing away in pre-adolescent hibernation. I just about had sufficient oestrogen levels to warrant wearing a skirt to school, and the prospect of kissing boys was unhygenic enough without being reminded of the contents of volume ‘S’ in the classroom colour encyclopaedia, which Ian and Jason had thumbed through so many times that the spine was peeling off. It took a healthy dose of religious cynicism before I was comfortable enough to even listen to ‘Passion’ properly, let alone enjoy it. The fact that kissing boys doesn’t automatically generate a YUCK reflex for me now also helps.

Has anyone ever really been turned on by a pop song that purports to be ‘sexy’? Speaking for myself, most attempts are either embarrassing for both me and the artist (this means YOU, Another Level), or my general inattention to verse lyrics means it goes over my head completely, e.g. Tina Turner’s ‘Steamy Windows’ which I naturally assumed was about Tina wearily trying to de-mist her car windscreen on a cold winter morning. It’s all very well trying to set the mood for some romance, but do you really want R Kelly in the background banging on about how great he is in the sack whilst you’re scrabbling around in the bedside table drawer for a Durex? Having lived in buildings with thin walls for most of my life I can confirm that the least embarrassing music to soundtrack sexual exploits is LOUD music, which will help mask any unusual noises and provide blessed relief for/against your less liberal neighbours.

For a volume perspective, ‘Passion’ itself is a reasonably good candidate for above-mentioned sonic shielding (better than ‘Bump’n’Grind’, at any rate). There’s a good meaty techno base with some harsh industrial riffing over the top, and the chorus is one big shameless diva-house pop hook, which we haven’t really seen on Rave’92 since Bizarre Inc. Former Pink Floyd backing vocalist Durga McBroom* seems much more comfortable belting out these big notes than she does on the verses, where she settles for doing her best Grace Jones impression. Unfortunately for Durga if there is one person I DEFINITELY do not want present in the room whilst I am ‘touching the naked steel’ it is Grace Jones. Aaargh!

Watch the remarkably non-sexy video to ‘(Can You) Feel The Passion’ below:


*Best name ever!