To say that this song is emotional would be an understatement beyond all measure. Man alive. The backdrop to this track is also pretty remarkable, so before I get to the music bear with me.
In 2002 Dani was diagnosed with ME, an illness which pretty much nobody understands and as a result for years she was left bedridden and house bound. I’ll now let her pick up her own story.
“I could only watch as others pursued their dreams and I got swallowed up in the thought that I may never be able to chase mine.”
“When I was able, I picked up a guitar and strummed a few chords. I recovered after 2 days, then picked it up again. I wrote a song, then recovered after 4 days. I got out to my first open mike night and performed the one song I had written. I recovered after 2 weeks. But I had done it and this one trip fuelled the passion to follow every possible route to health until gradually, during over 10 years, I began to improve and am now performing 3 hour gigs to packed venues. I have regained 85% of normal health and I will find the other 15%!”
I know it’s supposed to be all about the music yadda yadda yadda, but I was really pulling for her and this song after reading that, if you can come back from serious adversity you have my respect.
However having said all of that in no way shape of form is this song propped up by Dani’s story. (This isn’t X Factor) Forget the backstory; Without Me is just a brilliant song. The raw emotion that Dani manages to convey through her voice is so real that you can practically reach out and touch it. Throw in a lightly strummed acoustic guitar along with a cello and you’ve got a real tear-jerker on your hands.
This isn’t one of those songs to have on in the background, I think to really appreciate it you need to sit quietly for a minute and just drink it in. I know the whole ‘acoustic, emotional ballad’ thing isn’t for everyone but go with it trust me.
Lyrically, vocally and instrumentally Without Me is so powerfully emotive. I’ve said it so many times but for a song to work it needs to make you feel something and if you haven’t got a little bit of a lump in your throat after hearing this then I just give up.