After more than 20 years in the game, Robyn McCorquodale has issued what just might be her definitive vocal ballad in the new single and music video “We Fly Together or We Don’t Fly at All,” and after giving it a close listen this February, I think you’re going to agree with this statement. McCorquodale doesn’t waste our time with any over the top theatrical introductions in “We Fly Together or We Don’t Fly at All;” she gets right down to business and digs into lyrics far more intense than anything in the actual track will be. Her words are honest, and her tone is a strain of soft not used often enough in western pop music nowadays.
The harmony here is remarkably fragile and reminiscent of some of the 2009 LP Connected’s best moments, but at no point does it revisit any of the melodic territory already explored by this singer/songwriter in previous outings. There’s an innocence that we encounter ahead of the ascent into the chorus that stays with the lyrics throughout the whole of the song, but as McCorquodale pushes us into the track’s signature hook, her voice abandons any feeling of uncertainty and instead takes on a monolithic quality quite different in style than the verses it’s conveying.
Visually speaking, the music video for “We Fly Together or We Don’t Fly at All” has a stunning glow that immediately draws anyone watching closer to their screen and, specifically, the performance of Robyn McCorquodale herself. Her presence in these shots is transcendent and a more intimate way of tethering the imagery to the narrative in her lyrics (as opposed to merely putting something more literal together). The relationship between the two avenues of expression here is unbreakable, and moreover the source of this release’s most powerful and unifying moments.
When you need a song to inspire people to feel good about a time that seems about as lousy as it could ever get, veteran songwriters are often the right musicians to turn to, and Robyn McCorquodale proves as much in her performance of “We Fly Together or We Don’t Fly at All.” While sticking to a formula that has never failed her brand in the past couple of decades she’s been utilizing it, she shows us that she isn’t afraid to cast her lyrical spell using a bit of modernity in her approach, which is a hallmark of legends across the pop music spectrum.
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