REVIEW: Ronnue — “That’s the Way Love Goes” (Single)
There simply aren’t that many players in the American underground trending as well in their local scene as R&B crooner Ronnue has been lately, and this could be why the reception to his new single and music video “That’s the Way Love Goes” is matching that of his last record, Introduction 2 Retro-Funk. While there aren’t many stylistic differences between this Janet Jackson cover and the material we heard on that LP, there’s something that is impossible for any Ronnue fan to deny within the structure of this track — an amplified confidence that builds a narrative almost entirely independent from the one suggested by Jackson’s lyrics. This is his song in 2020, and after you listen to it all the way though, I think you’re going to see why I’d say so.
The video for “That’s the Way Love Goes” is perhaps the most humanizing document we’ve seen from Ronnue yet, and its earthy look lends a lot of authenticity to its creator that just wouldn’t have been accessible to us in a lot of other cover songs with similar themes. We’re never put in a place where it feels like we’re listening to elements that have been sampled from the original mix — this is 100% original instrumentation and vocals, with every element condensing together to make what essentially feels like a Molotov cocktail of emotionality and melodicism. Simply put, while it was already a sexy song beforehand, it gets a shot of adrenaline like nobody’s business here.
I would have preferred just a pinch less volume on the vocal as we get into the chorus of “That’s the Way Love Goes,” but it’s an excusable surface flaw that doesn’t prevent Ronnue’s performance from sounding as golden as anything he’s committed to master tape in his career thus far. Cosmetic edginess isn’t something this artist has ever been one to shy away from, and even when he allows for the alternative side of his sound to eclipse the elegance of what a mainstream recording would normally offer listeners, his integrity as a player is always intact. That’s half the battle for a lot of independent musicians, but for this guy, it’s something he already has down to a science in this cover and his original material.
Once more, Ronnue is proving that he’s got something special to share whenever he gets into the studio to work on new content, and in “That’s the Way Love Goes,” he makes a play for the mainstream market that could be too irresistible for even the most discriminating of establishment figures to dismiss as anything other than incredible. The scene up in Seattle is leaving a lot to be desired in 2020, but this actually works to his benefit for a couple of different reasons — the biggest being that, for the pedigree of the city he operates out of, he’s currently one of the biggest men in town. “That’s the Way Love Goes” is a cover song, make no mistakes about it, but it’s one that I won’t soon forget.