One Random Single a Day #93: “Each Time You Break My Heart” (1986) by Nick Kamen

Time to get back on track again. Nick Kamen is primarily a model, with the bulk of his work having been done in his home country of the UK. He is best known for his performance in a popular 1985 Levi’s commercial, titled “Laundrette”, wherein he strips down to his boxers in a laundromat while stone-washing his jeans at a laundromat. Needless to say, he’s a bit of a babe. As with many successful models, he embarked upon a music career soon after. Although he did find himself with a UK top ten hit, “Each Time You Break My Heart”, the album from where it came only barely cracked the top 40. His singing career ultimately went nowhere, apart from his debut and the 1990 single “I Promised Myself”, which hit the top ten in numerous countries. After one last album in 1992, he dropped out of the music industry altogether, remaining fairly prominent in the modeling world from herein out.

The coolest aspect of today’s single, “Each Time You Break My Heart”, is probably the fact that it was written by Madonna and Stephen Bray. It was originally written for the pop icon’s True Blue album, but when it didn’t end up making the cut, she turned it over to Kamen. I finished Madonna’s entire studio discography fairly recently and enjoyed myself pretty well, so there mere fact of there being another unsung Madonna song out there is just so exciting to me. Regrettably, however, the single is a little less than exciting. The production contains a similar bumping, chiming melody as something like “Into the Groove” or “Open Your Heart”, but without the additional pizzazz or personality to make it stand out from any other run of the mill 80s synthpop track. The lyrics are pretty standard lovesick pop stuff, though not at all terrible, so I won’t take off points for that.

However, it’s painfully obvious that singing just isn’t Kamen’s forte. He seems to only barely inch his way across each verse, remaining incredibly flat the entire way through. The delivery throughout is so monotone, which is especially troubling with some of the lines that require a bit more of an emotional punch. Overall, though, it’s not too awful of a song – just achingly inadequate. To be honest, I find “I Promised Myself” to be the much stronger single – it really sounds like it utilizes an upbeat sample from Erasure’s “A Little Respect” (though I can’t find the information that confirms this) and it does so to the song’s total benefit. It’s a cheesy bit of 90s Europop, for sure, but I’ll be willing to take that over a bland, throwaway synthpop single any day.

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