“Morbid emptiness and coldness of a drizzly afternoon somewhere in concrete jungle with barely any breathing space”
Digital Release: October 28, 2011
Physical Release: October 31, 2011
To be assigned to laborious job of writing and singing a soundtrack single, even if it’s intended for one of the biggest films of the year, must be a hard thing to have to cope with if you’re a chart-oriented act. First off, you need to take time out of your schedule to write the lyrics, the music and have it produced but all the while under the notion that it’s either not going to do anything in a chart-wise direction or sell millions. After coming to terms with such a commercial travesty (cough), there’s very little else to consider: the music video needs hardly any work, as half of it are cuts from the film that the song is promoting; there’s no need for any real promotion of the actual song either, because it’ll be featured in the film. It’s a perfectly executed give-and-take between song and film, each promoting each other and slicing the labour needed to produce much profit by half.
And now it’s Bruno Mars’ turn to join the Twilight franchise by penning ‘It Will Rain’ for Breaking Dawn, Part I. Anyone accustomed with the Twilight franchise has reason to grimace now because this means ‘It Will Rain’ is almost certainly going to be a unnecessarily dark and depressing track with more preciously suicidal proclamations of love than what his listeners had to endure on ‘Grenade’ because Stephanie Meyer is just about clinically incapable of writing anything that involves less than at least fifty per cent misfortune. And this echoes into ‘It Will Rain’; Bruno’s heart has been broken so many times it’s not even worth putting back together.
And even though Mars’ powerful voice gives the emotion a good bit of welly (the effectiveness of which is debateable), the lyrics are head-scratchingly poor – “If you ever leave me baby/Leave some morphine at my door”, like the first thing that comes to his mind in the wake of a loved one leaving him is to reach for the medication. And with a suitably detail-abolishing acoustic reverberation pointlessly used on the production side of things, the empathy for Bruno is felt all too well. Not in the sense that we understand what Mars is going through; he’s too selfish to impart that much. What we instead, as mere listeners to his supposedly heart-wrenching tales get to do is feel the morbid emptiness and coldness of a drizzly afternoon somewhere in concrete jungle with barely any breathing space.
Overdone, claustrophobic and ultimately irritating, Mars goes for the rich, layered, haunting verve and ends up dawdling through impenetrable globules of thick-headed emotion that he’s reluctant to share, sounding as potentially haunting as a toddler with a plastic fork.