Song of the Week: “You Bring Out My Best” (Orange & Lemons)
★★★★½ of 5
There’s something so cathartic about music and its ability to transport us to a time and place that may or may not exist; because we snap back to reality appreciating music even more than when we first came in.
With Orange & Lemons’ latest single, “You Bring Out My Best,” we’re served exactly that.
While Clem Castro and brothers Ace and JM del Mundo bring their usual A game, it is the addition of Jared Nerona on keyboards that has become a revelation for the band. Suddenly, the songs have a richer sound without going overboard; the frivolities, nostalgia, and bliss in Castro’s lyrics being complemented with lushness that doesn’t resort to schmaltz.
This, inevitably, brings me to The Beatles and The Smiths comparisons. Over the years, fans and critics alike have taken note of Orange & Lemons’ affinity to the music of The Beatles and The Smiths. If I could be honest, though, I love this new song because it reminds me of one of the most underrated bands of all time: For what it’s worth, “You Bring Out My Best” sounds like something Belle & Sebastian would record, with romanticism replacing the latter’s patented sardonic witticism.
Nevertheless, when the dust settles, “You Bring Out My Best” is Orange & Lemons through and through. It might sound like something inspired by Stuart Murdoch’s melody; but Castro and the gang make sure the lyrical worldview remains reminiscent of sophisticated OPM sensibilities. This is a perfect companion piece to the band’s earlier song (and personal favorite), “Lovers Go, Lovers Come.”
In today’s new normal exacerbated by the sociopolitical climate paving the way to the proliferation of negativity and cynicism, it’s a welcome tonic to see OPM artists providing their listeners with 3-minute maudlin and wistful escapisms to rejuvenate and ruminate on how good it feels to be human.
Thankfully, Orange & Lemons’ new single serves us just that.
And we’re all the better for it.