Music has always been a useful tool for commenting on the world around us and the amount of music adopting a more political stance can only be a reflection of the passions with which people are willing to channel through such creative acts. But music has also always been perfect as a way of paying tribute, for saying thanks and as a permanent sonic symbol of appreciation. And again, the fact that there is so much music being made as a way of artists pouring out their collective hearts also says a lot about the world today. It reminds us that even with all the problems going on in the world that there is always a safe pair of hands to catch us when we fall. Hero is a thank you in particular to the first responders and health care teams of NYC who have been the heroes of the title during this recent Covid-19 pandemic.
It is a suitably subtle song, one built along gentle piano lines and soft vocal appreciations. Amelia’s voice trades on some gorgeous sonic weaves, wandering from intimate balladic softness to classical highs reminiscent of the scope and scale of the likes of Joni Mitchell. Good company indeed. From there the song grows into a more powerful pop piece, adding drive and direction but losing none of the grace and grandeur with which it set out.
Some motions of thanks can sometimes seem merely an act of etiquette, the done thing, the expected response. Hero, however, is a thank you that is both heartfelt and artistic. Most of all it is thank you which will linger long in the consciousness of those it is intended to honour, after all what is the point of expressing such sentiments if they don’t linger long in the memory? This is song which will remain undimmed the minds of those it is aimed at, the perfect response to the selflessness of those who we often forget about but who are always there when the need is greatest.