Tuesday, 23 March 2010

2002 Ronan Keating: If Tomorrow Never Comes

Just as things were starting to bubble along quite nicely, here comes dour old Ronan again with an entry that applies the 'party over' dampeners with the force of an anti-lock braking system. He didn't write it of course (that honour goes to Garth Brooks), but I can just imagine how the po-faced gravitas of that title alone would have appealed to Keating and his team on his quest to become a 'serious' artist - you could never imagine him doing a 'Kiss Kiss' now could you?

As you'd expect from a Brooks song, the original 'If Tomorrow Never Comes' is a country ballad of overloaded sentimentality with the underlying homespun philosophy of 'do it now because tomorrow is too late' at its core. Brooks doesn't trowel any of it on too thickly and his simple structure conveys his simple message with an effect that, if I'm being honest, is the sort of thing that always appeals to the glum in me. Job done.

Keating wisely stays away from trying to pop it up and instead heats Brooks' dry sugar into a treacly paste of sincerity that he uses to smother the song by the panful in a suffocating, schmaltzy sap until Brooks' observational whimsy becomes a mantra for a way of life - no 'cheer up it may never happen' for Ronan. In fact, for the final seal of approval as to how deathly seriously everybody is taking it, the overly-literal promotional video provides an unintentional hoot as Keating deadpans the "If tomorrow never comes will she know how much I loved her" directly at the camera while cartwheeling in slow-mo in front of a speeding car as his angsty partner/lover writhes back in their bed like a live wire in a bucket of water. Did he trip or did he jump? Or was he pushed into the car's path by a pissed off passer-by fed up with all his whinging? I know where my money would be.

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