Song of the Day, February 20: I’ll Make Believe by Jeffrey Osborne

osbornestaybelieveToday’s song is a ballad of loss and self-deception. After a successful solo debut, Jeffrey Osborne returned to producer George Duke for his second outing. Stay With Me Tonight is an even stronger disc, blending funky love songs, gorgeous ballads, and quirky stories. The album is held together by Duke’s smart production and Osborne’s amazing voice.

One of the highlights is I’ll Make Believe, written by Osborne with Geoffrey Leib. The theme is simple: a man bereft by broken romance, doing his best to pretend that things are still fine. In lesser hands, it could be trite or treacly. Instead, Osborne’s distinctive phrasing and smart restraint show off the ache and sorrow without over-emoting. The result is poignant and heartbreaking.

Enjoy this sad song today.

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