Victoria Celestine delivers with a uniquely gentle and expressive leading voice on this spacious and gradually intensifying single Alive. The song begins with a pure and simple set-up, a few piano chords pave the way for a stripped-back vocal performance to shine brightly amongst. The melody grabs you in an effective way, as does Celestine’s voice, and as the song progresses the soundscape builds just subtly; weaving around you an equally expressive but minimalist, thoughtful ambiance that suits the mood and the subject matter well.
The drum-line that appears later on in the song adds a level of drama to the piece, implying a sense of rising energy and pace – though this never comes into fruition any more than necessary. The contrast works well, the delicate and more whispered moments connect beautifully when preceded or followed by this drum-line and the meeting of every other layer.
From a songwriting perspective, Alive is an easily effective pop song. The hook takes two key lines and runs with the title word in a familiar way; in keeping with much of the modern mainstream soundscape’s likable releases. What lifts the song up the most is undoubtedly Celestine’s voice, there’s softness to it throughout, a rather raspy quality but never so much so that the performance becomes loud or forced. Even with this quiet nature, the voice stands tall among the music, drawing the audience in from the offset and holding close to that attention and affection throughout.
As a love song, the lyrics work well to lay out the ideas in a minimal but relevant way – Alive reaches out on multiple levels, likely fit to become the song any number of couples might turn to as one that expresses just how they’re feeling.