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Synth Single Review: "Tell Me" by ARVO

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


ARVO’s Tell Me explores the emotional fallout from a confusing, intense relationship. Jazzy piano chords and a pulsating, dense bass pulse open the song as ARVO’s passionate, caressing vocals move in.

The vocal melody is gentle and gliding as a high synth repeats a hypnotic pattern and the bass throbs. Now rippling, glittering arpeggios spin smoothly as flashing synth chords punctuate it. ARVO’s vocals are heartfelt and expressive as the solid bass throb and rich piano chords add extra depth.

Again the brightly shining synth flares out as the arpeggio dances and the guiding drums and bass move the song forward. There’s a melancholy feeling in the track that fills each element of it. The beat guides the song on as the arpeggios undulate and a slightly distorted synth doubles the drums.

The narrator realizes that he doesn’t have the answer and “guess I could be wrong” but he has to know if the other person is thinking “the same thing as me.” Although “it’s been a long time coming” he admits that he’s addicted to “everything that you do and all the words you say.”

In the chorus, the storyteller wants to know if the other person can answer the question he needs answered - what they want from him. He adds “don’t you tell me who I need to be!” He again asks if the other person will tell him what he needs to know, before remind them that they don’t get to tell him who to be.

Our narrator muses about whether or not he’ll get over the other person. He wonders if that’s what they really want. He says that he might just “get up and walk away” because the other person is always trying to play him. He asks, “Just tell me, honestly, d’ya want me?”

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Now as the storyteller is forced to cling to past memories, he’s “out of touch and out of faith” but it is all that remains and all he knows. He admits to thinking he knows the answer so all he can do is “walk away.”

© 2022 Karl Magi

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