The Spinners

♪ I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing (Aerosmith, 1998) ♪

In American, Pop, Richard Bolisay, Track Reviews on April 11, 2010 at 10:44 am

Well, as a kid, the thought of being trapped inside Steven Tyler’s mouth is scary. Even if you’re not alone and Steven is kind enough to let you bring your friends inside—come on, there is a lot of space—his voice still doesn’t feel safe. And then there are those teeth, sparkly like a vampire’s . . . You know, every kid has his own horror story.

When Armageddon came out, everyone was singing “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”, from noontime shows to videoke bars, young and old alike. It’s a disease. And being in a country of born belters, the song is a common staple among local singing competitions, Regine Velasquez even having her own version in R2K which was actually the reason why our mini-component broke down then (seriously). The fact that Diane Warren wrote the song for Celine Dion is already a giveaway, how the vocal acrobatics will go, how bombastic the background music will be, and how it will stay in everyone’s unconscious like an itch. And Aerosmith, coming from the flashy roads of ultimate hardcore rock, turns what could possibly be a “My Heart Will Go On Part 2: Jack and Rose Together Again” into a soaring power ballad, for really, what is a power ballad if it doesn’t soar?

Listening to it now—frankly for reasons only chance can be a witness—I must say nothing much of my love for it has changed. It still sounds swell, only my personal memories of it keep bothering me, disabling me to notice its structure. The arrangement is not as overblown as I think it was before, but still somewhat on the Jim Steinman school of pop, loud and flashy, albeit tempered. This is the type of song that radio stations lap up on account of volume: their motto being “the louder the better, irregardless”.

Well, regardless of anything, it is Diane Warren’s lines that make it a classic. Killer words are everywhere, from the sweetness of the opening— I could stay awake just to hear you breathing / Watch you smile while you are sleeping / While you’re far away and dreaming—to the head-over-heels smack of the chorus— ‘Cause even when I dream of you  / The sweetest dream would never do / I’d still miss you, baby / And I don’t want to miss a thing—and even till the bridge, it seems that the singer is singing to someone dead, because how can she not respond to this?—Well, I just wanna be with you / Right here with you, just like this / I just wanna hold you close / Feel your heart so close to mine / And just stay here in this moment / For all the rest of time.

Come on, it’s impossible not to miss a thing. The irony of it being sung in weddings is its greatest legacy, especially for people stupid enough to believe in platitudes and rhetoric, unaware that certain songs have a universe of their own, barely touching the realm of man. But up to now, I admit I still dream of sleeping in Steven’s mouth, for experience’s sake.

– Richard Bolisay

Download “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”

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