OUT OF NOWHERE’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE POWER BALLAD
In an early scene in OUT OF NOWHERE, Colin recounts how he and his best friend Xavier first bonded over their shared love of hair metal:
Xavier has been my best friend since we played high school football. The guys on the team teased him for being a black kid from North Philly who loved hair metal instead of rap, and since I loved it too, we spent most of our time arguing about Poison, Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard (which Xavier contended was only pop metal but I worshipped), Twisted Sister, Van Halen, and, of course, since they were from Philly, Cinderella. We’d replace Nas and Goodie Mob with Quiet Riot in the locker room stereo and push Play just as our teammates got in the showers, posing and roughhousing; then we’d crack up as they were stuck doing so naked to the soundtrack of “Cum On Feel the Noize.”
The power ballad is variously maligned and worshipped—fans of the bands’ heavier sounds often spurn these tracks for being soft or cheesy, but they often have mega crossover appeal for listeners who aren’t into the bands’ heavier sound. What makes these tracks both dismissed and adored? Romance! Power ballads are almost always songs about love. Sure, some fall into the genre of love songs, but most are stories of lovers past, lovers lost, lovers found, and lovers opined.
Yep, the power ballad is basically the romance novel of the music world.
They’re sweeping and dramatic and operatic. They’re tender and furious, yearning and out of control. Where the pop love song is a highly structured, bite-sized bonbon of amour, the power ballad stretches out in a rock song’s looser, more frenetic organization, its dramatic instrumentation amplified by rougher, more expressive vocals that pitch from Queensrÿche’s polished echo-chamber growls to the stratospheric heights of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling.”
A romance told in the form of a straining guitar, a thrumming bass, a throbbing backbeat, and vocals that shred as they belt and stretch and spit their love in notes that becomes growls and whines? That’s what I wanted OUT OF NOWHERE to be. A power ballad of a love story.
Here’s Colin and Rafe’s story in musical form. I hope you have medical insurance because weeping and headbanging simultaneously has been known to cause whiplash. I hope you enjoy, friends. Oh, and consider the last song a hidden track—you’ll know why it’s there when you read the book 😉
You will need an account on Spotify in order to see Roan’s playlist.
Title: Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere #2)
Author: Roan Parrish
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 29, 2016
Page Count: 274
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
The only thing in Colin Mulligan’s life that makes sense is taking cars apart and putting them back together. In the auto shop where he works with his father and brothers, he tries to get through the day without having a panic attack or flying into a rage. Drinking helps. So do running and lifting weights until he can hardly stand. But none of it can change the fact that he’s gay, a secret he has kept from everyone.
Rafael Guerrera has found ways to live with the past he’s ashamed of. He’s dedicated his life to social justice work and to helping youth who, like him, had very little growing up. He has no time for love. Hell, he barely has time for himself. Somehow, everything about miserable, self-destructive Colin cries out to him. But down that path lie the troubles Rafe has worked so hard to leave behind. And as their relationship intensifies, Rafe and Colin are forced to dredge up secrets that both men would prefer stay buried.
Roan Parrish is currently wandering between Philadelphia and New Orleans. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.
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