Mario is undoubtedly the nice guy of R&B. His clean-cut credentials are beyond reproach. He’s not one of those dubious R Kelly types. Oh no. In fact, just to ensure there’s no confusion, the video kicks off with a peculiar little visual anacrucis. As the intro vamps away in the distance we see Mario with his hair cut just that little bit cleaner. I only know it was a haircut because the camera focuses on a Mario fur ball that’s hit the deck. Also one of Mario’s homies does the explaining with plot thickening clarity: “O m’Cod son, chu really cut your joints off.” To which Captain Cleancut responds with what seems like undue profundity: “Sometimes you got do what you got a do, man… Let’s do it.”
Indeed. We wouldn’t want to rush you or anything. Sure there’s not some other spot of personal grooming you’d like to take care of before we prevail upon you to actually start this song? How about: “O m’Cod son, chu really floss your molars off”? Anyway, it does seem like a peculiar video clip precedent. What’s next? A quick snap of Britney doing her ironing before launching into the latest megamix? A sneak peak of Liam and Noel gargling and taking a leak before launching into their next Indie epic? I hope not.
But for all the tonsorial time wasting, one thing is beyond question — Mario sure is clean cut… and nice. He’s the type of straight-up bloke who’d you happily ask to pick up your post while you were on holiday, knowing he wouldn’t take all your Pizza Hut tokens… The type of bloke who’d charm the hairnet off your 90-year-old nanna by pretending to mistake her for your 19-year-old daughter. Make no mistake: Mario is one of the good guys.
In fact, he’s such a nice bloke that he appears to have given his music producers an extended holiday during the recording of Let me Love You. Once you remove our man’s vocal all that’s left is a tinny drum machine loop… and a sampled hook. A hook that sounds strangely familiar. There it is again… and again… and again… Where’s it come from? There it is again… It’s from… it’s from… don’t tell me… no no no… it’s on the tip of my tongue. Bzzzzt. Time’s up. Tina Turner. What’s Love Got to do With it.
Anyway, thanks to the ‘sparse’ musical ‘arrangement’, we have the brain space to comprehend the Mario message: I’m nice. Like me. Not him.
How does a nice guy manoeuvre himself into poll position with a lady? It’s all about showing your wares. For starters you need to operate out of the coolest school gym on the planet. You need a retro dragster pushbike. You need a trakky top that looks like it came from the 1976 Montreal Australian Olympic hockey team. And you need all the right moves — grab yourself when you sing the word ‘love’; hold up one finger when you mention the word ‘one’; and waggle the finger when you mouth the word ‘don’t’. Simple really. Certainly worked for our good mate Mario. Come three minutes, 45 seconds into the clip the would-be ladyfriend is like tuttifrutti in his hands.
Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, really.