Rico Friebe - Word Value - Stereo Stickman

Rico Friebe Word Value


Introducing an aptly-titled new album, from a songwriter with a devotedly personal and increasingly unmistakable style. Rico Friebe delivers an enchanting collection of acoustic works, for Word Value.

Beginning with the simple yet iconic This Day, the album builds up an immediate sense of purpose and heart – piano and paired vocals looping hypnotically throughout a catchy melodic thread of hopeful sentiments.

We then get the switch to acoustic guitar, for the again recognizable Leave and Golower vocals and a fresh setting, similarly contemplative lyrics that question the roles of time and the self intertwined. Word Value has a style of expression, blending subtle variety with substance and a clear degree of artistic identity.

Something of a melodic master, Rico Friebe utilizes easy yet original riffs and wave-like vocal progressions quite consistently. Show Me furthers this approach with another personal deep-dive into poetic wonder, maintaining that rising energy whilst never adding much at all to the mix – only reinforcing the warmth and weight of the voices and the solo playing.

Listen and Talk follows the same method but harmonizes the two voices and reverts to a back and forth picking arrangement as further lyrical questions and intentions are vaguely presented. All the while we seem to be gathering an entire conversation of thoughts and a certain longing to connect that is the album in full – a project well and truly considerate of the value of words.

The most recent single to emerge was Never Know, a hauntingly beautiful display of what ifs and inspiring possibility. A definite highlight. Then we shift into rhythmic claps and fragments of voice, for a uniquely atmospheric, mildly tribal head-space in the form of After The Moment. To follow, a-Capella simplicity and subsequently cascading variants make up the strikingly vulnerable Would You Mind?

Another highlight is the longer-form musical set-up of Sacred Land – a joyful piano rise and fall with simultaneously whispered vocal images and ideas, contrasting optimism and uncertainty in an again hypnotic yet ultimately uplifting fashion.

Didn’t Know adds a touch of solo guitar-play for further dynamic within the style, before the intensity of faster-paced piano-work helps The River Is Talking To Me set a compelling scene and provoke thought. Things Unseen mixes up the mood thereafter, with an exotic guitar style and harmonies of longer lyrical musings.

At the penultimate moment, Gone leans towards a more mainstream vibe with its three-chord presentation and the quietly melancholic repetition of I’ll Be Gone. Then to finish, a dash of brightness and intrigue, as Thirteen brings in subtle bass to light up a numerical fascination indicative of pondering superstitions and fate. A clever and memorable way to wrap up the entire exploration that is Word Value.

Find Rico Friebe on Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud, Instagram & the Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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