Said I Loved You…But I Lied by Michael Bolton
By Ron Powers
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of songs from the 1990s and I’m excited to share one of my favorites with you here. Michael Bolton’s 1993 hit, “Said I Loved You…But I Lied”, is among the best pop ballads produced in the 20th century. It’s been setting hearts on fire for the last three decades and remains popular to this day. For my money, it doesn’t get any better than the flinty and soulful power of Bolton’s voice letting loose on this song.
For the intro music we hear mysterious sounding synthesizers punctuated by reverberating tom toms. This is followed by a sparkling melody performed with a bell-like synth sound. After a couple of measures, a deep and smooth bass line provides power and richness to the mix. Percussive elements are also sprinkled around the stereo field giving the listener an interesting spatial experience of the music. On top of all this, Bolten accentuates the feeling with a spooky wordless falsetto melody that pulls the listener in like a tractor beam.
As the first verse is introduced, we hear mellow synth chords while bass and percussion establish the song’s rhythmic backbone. Swelling keyboard sounds also swirl around the mix adding to the mysterious tone of the music. For the topline, Bolton delivers a tender yet powerful performance expressing his love with timeless and poetic lyrics that have been melting hearts for decades. As the verse progresses, shimmering guitar chords along with palm muted notes are sprinkled in giving the track its iconic 90s ballad sound.
For the chorus, Bolton delivers one of the most exquisite feelings I’ve ever felt while listening to a song. There’s something transcendent in the combination of the melody, lyrics, and vocal performance that words simply can’t express. The timeless gift of Bolton’s voice is supported with a dreamy plucked synth melody alongside swirling synthesizer streaming through the mix like fireflies in a field at midnight. All of this is further supported by a rock solid bass line and percussive elements that include wood block, shaker, and a snappy snare drum.
The romance of this classic song is further accentuated with the smooth sounds of the instrumental. Here Spanish acoustic guitar sprinkles its magic over the music with the sound of finger plucked notes drenched in reverb. A breathy synthesizer, reminiscent of a flute, accompanies the guitar creating a unique texture to the music. Additionally, unearthly wind-like sounds set to music flow through the mix adding to the mysterious feeling of the song.
Michael Bolton currently has several performances booked for 2023 and he has a new album coming out on June 23 called “Spark of Light”. You can find tickets to the shows and pre-order the new album at michaelbolton.com. If you’d like to listen to “Said I Loved You…But I Lied”, you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most other places music is streamed or sold. If you’d like to learn more about Michael Bolten, you can find him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
About the Author: Ron Powers is an independent A&R specialist and music industry consultant and is constantly searching for, discovering and writing about new talent.