Thursday, 11 February 2016

Harry Young - Pretty Girls

‘Pretty Girls’, as the name suggests, deals with the cliché of popular music. If it’s not breakups or longing for someone you can’t have – It’s the vacuous personality of the horde of girls you have had. This cliché isn’t necessarily something I’d advise songwriters to steer clear from because the subject matter usually comes from at least some level of personal experience but it is something that risks being lost in a turbulent sea of obscurity. Harry Young, however, has constructed a genuinely interesting piece from the opening jaunty, plucked acoustic guitar to the pleasantly surprising introduction of a melodic guitar accompaniment just after the two minute mark.
I was fairly disappointed that there were no ‘stand-out’ lyrics to really analyse as this makes it difficult to work out how personal the song is to the artist. A song that’s lyrics allow every listener to substitute themselves in place of the artist may be a commercial dream but it can come at the cost of real personal input from the songwriter; and the song in this case has quite heavily succumb to this possibility.
The merit of this song comes largely from the instrumentation. It’s a fairly simple arrangement but less is more when, like Harry Young, you can consolidate all the elements together in such a tight fashion. The lead guitar following the melody of the vocals in the latter half of the song is reason enough to disregard any of the doubts you may have had up till this point. The repeating of “Make it stop…” simplifies the lyrics so the listener can appreciate the guitar at this point; a sensible move, as counterintuitive as it may seem to simplify an element while trying to convey your talent this shows an awareness uncommon in young artists.  One time where Young’s awareness does seem to lapse, however, is after the volume of the lyrics builds and the melodic lead guitar cuts he, for some reason, decides to utilise Gregorian chanting-esque vocals on the “Hold on me” lyric. I’m not sure my experience in reviewing equips me to critique this genre but I will say that it just seemed out of placed and changed the pace of the song too much to transition to, or from, smoothly.
This is only Young’s debut single so there is no album for me to recommend as of yet. I do, however, recommend you stream this song from his Soundcloud linked below. Hopefully an album appears soon, as for better or worse he seems at least able to experiment with various techniques giving him promise as an emerging artist.
Nathan Beck

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