Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Have you ever stumbled upon a song in the depths of the Internet and thinking that it wouldn’t appeal to you, only to take a chance and find yourself caught in its magical embrace? This is what I experienced when I encountered “A Moonlight Serenade,” a cover performed by Platina Jazz. This doesn’t come from me being a fan of the source material, that being the opening song for the Japanese anime “Sailor Moon.” I haven’t listened to that original song in years, and yet here I am, in love with this beautiful and chaotic rendition.
For its entire runtime, this cover builds a ludicrous amount of momentum until it reaches its bombastic finale. The brass opening sets this tone in a perfect manner; it’s almost startling, as if it’s trying to wake up the audience. Due to the complex instrumentation, this cover feels far more involved than the original track. Even after listening to it more times than I can count, I’m still discovering new little lines that I failed to notice before.
While the backing track is marvelous, the vocalist steals the show and turns it into something really special. Performing the lead vocals with a vigor I haven’t seen in a long time, Mr. Douglas Unger delivers a haunting performance of a downright gorgeous love song. He does a magnificent job of selling the idea that he’s madly in love with someone; you can hear the pain and longing in his voice, as if he’s barely holding on without her. He starts off a little quiet in the beginning, and by the end he’s crying the lyrics with all his might. His passion is unmatched, and I found myself captivated.
I’ll touch upon one lyric that stood out to me: “Romance in miracles so hard to defy//Invited by the moon in your eyes.” As a certified lover of all things romantic, I adore the imagery within this line. As the chorus, this line becomes more intense as the song goes on, mirroring the progression the music makes as a whole. However, it becomes peaceful during the brief slow interlude before the fourth verse, and then it quickly builds back up to explode into the song’s finale. I’ll admit, it surprised me almost as much as the music video, and I love this line all the more for it.
Speaking of which, the accompanying video is an absolute delight. It’s framed as the dream of Unger as a sleepy audition judge, and it takes the audience through the various ways he ignores or assaults the people onstage. All the while he’s putting on ridiculous expressions and waxing melancholic about romance, and I found myself smiling the whole way through.
“A Moonlight Serenade” continues to enthrall me with its wonderful personality, and I recommend that each and every one of you give it a listen. You’ll find yourself enchanted in the blink of an eye.