When I hear Corrine Drewery’s lilting voice on Swing Out Sister’s upbeat, fanciful “Breakout,” I hear positivity and sunshine, a reminder of the late-’80s, early ’90s emphasis on jazz accents and full-fledged horn flourishes in pop music. For the longest time, Drewery only heard a nervous, uncomfortable young singer in one of her first sessions in a major recording studio.
“What I hear in that song is someone quite naive. That was one of the first things we ever recorded, and I don’t think it was the best performance in the world. I can hear the slight nervousness in the voice,” Drewery recalls. “I think I was 23, and it’s really all of your life rolled into a song, all of the anticipation and joy and hope and everything that I’d experienced at that point. You want it to be the best it can be, so that people can hear what’s genuine. And when it is you can feel that genuine emotion. I don’t think that was my best, though. We were lucky to get anything. I burst out crying because I didn’t think it was good enough.”
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