ARAB TONY leads with a softly entrancing soundscape and a gorgeously satisfying melody-line on this latest release Shinola. The crisp and clean finish on the song works beautifully, every element shines as it should – the stop and start rhythm compliments the flow of the rap section, and before this the artist’s leading voice delivers the melody in an equally captivating manner.
There’s an ongoing sense of emotional intensity to the track – the whole thing seems to slowly but surely gather momentum, appearing as if the pace is increasing; the performance becoming more and more impressive and indeed mesmerizing as it progresses. And all the while, this ambient backdrop – complete with fragments of piano and gentle synths alike – lets contrast work its magic to keep you really feeling the mood and intention of the track.
Where at first you might hear those opening tones and align your comparisons accordingly, Shinola evolves to become something else entirely. The first few seconds give off a contemporary rap feel, soon enough though you hear that stripped back vocal style, the back and forth between melody and rap, and the relentlessly driven and determined nature of both the artist’s words and his presentation of them.
The verses hold your attention from start to finish, and meanwhile – the rise and fall of the music is fairly uplifting. Flickers of organic instrumentation light up the outer edges and keep a dash of softness and peace at the forefront of the experience. Meanwhile that rap flow, that energy and the wordplay, the rhythm and the refusal to fall below par – ARAB TONY is an impressive artist. This single is easily worth the time it takes to listen through in full – let the entire journey play out before you make up your mind.
A beautiful new song with some incredibly pure production work and a genuinely strong performance from the leading creative. I look forward to hearing where else his creativity takes him throughout 2019 and beyond.
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