Leslie Mendelson | “Happy New Year” | Review

Article Contributed by Nicole Lise Feingold | Published on Sunday, December 27, 2020

Leslie Mendelson’s studio performance of "Happy New Year" celebrates this important benchmark while providing the optimism we desperately need after a whirlwind of a year. There is both simplicity and complicatedness in Mendelson’s tune. The piano which is the only supporting instrument is straightforward and gentle, creating an underlying, welcoming calmness whereas the intricately resides in her voice and lyrics. She expresses melancholy in each of her notes, even though the song’s words are uplifting. It’s as if she is consciously releasing the tensions and trials of 2020 which are enhanced by her poetic lines that weave the moving narrative. “The start of something new. God knows we need it. All that we’ve been through. It couldn’t come soon enough. All’s well that ends well. Washed away with the parade.” There’s also innocence, humility and pureness peppered with intense depth and passion that incites excitement of what can be. “Happy new year. I wish you the best of it. More than you’ll ever know. Love and good cheer. Here’s to the rest of it. May we be never alone. Oh, happy new year. I wish you the best of it. Silver bells carry us home. Love and good cheer. Here to the rest of it. May we be never alone. While we’re here, happy new year.”

Leslie Mendelson

Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist, Carl Jung stated, “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” I put a lot of weight on the new year after losing my partner; desperately hoping it would make my life magically better. Seven years ago, battered, and traumatized, I wanted an immediate fix. I was so disillusioned, even heartbroken when the new year turned out to be just an arbitrary date, not an instant solution for my life to suddenly shift. At the time, I was unable to see all the potential that lay before me nor did I have the sophistication to comprehend Jung’s wise words. Now, with experience I know circumstances improve, with hope always around the corner. I also learned we all have the power to release the anguish and pain from the past ushering in a brighter future. Life will not turn around at the stroke of midnight, but a new year is truly enchanting holding many amazing possibilities. Mendelson aids us in embracing it by wishing everyone a very “Happy New Year.”