I racked my mind on the song I was going to choose for this week’s slow jam Saturday. As you know, today is the twentieth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I was torn between Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Pure Gold” or Diana Ross’ “Missing You”, however I ultimately decided to go with Jagged Edge’s “Goodbye”. Released as the second single from the group’s third album Jagged Little Thrill, “Goodbye” was written by group members Brandon and Brian Casey along with frequent collaborators Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael Cox. In addition Dupri and Cox produced the song as well.
On my first listen of the song back in the summer of 2001, I found it to be standard Jagged Edge which isn’t a bad thing, as the one thing JE could do is deliver a solid ballad. However, when the Forrest Whitaker directed music video arrived sometime after 9/11, the song personally took on a new meaning for me.
The concept of the video starred Barry Pepper as a military man preparing to leave his family for a mission with no return date in sight. I immediately thought back to my childhood and the times my enlisted mother would come with the news that she had to go overseas for an assignment and I couldn’t go with her.
Now, I was still two years away from actually joining the Air Force myself, but three of my best friends were all in the Army already. I knew at some point they would all deploy, which means you have to say Goodbye to your homies with a phone call. When reading the lyrics for “Goodbye”, they do come across as a love song about breaking up, but they can apply to any relationship with a simple swap of a few words.
Showing emotion towards someone who has to exit your life for reasons outside of your control, doesn’t make you weak, if anything, it shows your strength. As Robert Southey once said “No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.” For me, with this song, Jagged Edge continued to show there worth as artists.
Final Grade: B+
“Goodbye” from Jagged Edge’s third album, Jagged Little Thrill is available on all streaming platforms.