The Midnight Romance has been an under-the-radar group this year, but they’ve been releasing new music at a shockingly steady rate. Just over two weeks since their brilliant Nightmare, the guys are back with emotional piano ballad I Don’t Want To Live Without You. It’s a far cry from their usual synth-powered sound, but stands as a great example of what a well-arranged ballad can be.
Frontman Minue is an old pro, and knows how to squeeze every last drop from a simple song like this. I Don’t Want To Live Without You is all about its build, and the anticipation created before that cathartic moment. We all know it’s coming, as the instrumental slowly signals a gain in momentum. What begins as a simple piano-led track is gradually joined by more band elements, including footfalls of percussion and strings. It’s a slow-burn song, but Minue’s clear vocal captivates even in its more prolonged moments.
I Don’t Want To Live Without You’s chorus is especially successful. Like the rest of the track, it’s not overly complex. But, its melody builds to an immensely satisfying crest, made even better by the impassioned vocal. Then, the song explodes in its final minute. Minue’s voice becomes an anguished howl as electric guitar joins the fray. This is the closest that I Don’t Want To Live Without You gets to the group’s usual 80’s sound, only this time it’s hair metal balladry rather than icy synthpop. I wish this climax came a bit earlier and lasted longer, but the payoff is still worth the wait. We’re now four singles into The Midnight Romance’s discography, and the band just seems to be bouncing from strength to strength.