Things, ultimately, come down to passion and discipline. Brian Pharaoh’s story proves that. He’s returned to his music career thirteen years after the release of his debut full-length Gettin’ My Feet Wet. Far from fallow, Pharaoh spent the interim frequently deployed to the Middle East with his reservist unit. His military service illustrates how discipline is a strong character trait – and never losing sight of his ultimate goal, picking up where he left off with his music career, despite whatever obstacles life has tossed in his way. His latest single, “Sorry”, will appear on his forthcoming sophomore album and gives listeners a significant taste of the music and personality they can expect from his next full length effort.
This isn’t a gimmick song. Instead, “Sorry” is an excellent example of the kiss-off genre. Pharaoh concentrates primarily on the situation’s humor and potential for sarcasm. His vocal makes great use of it thanks to his entertaining, almost theatrical delivery. There are moments when he seems a little too smarmy, but it makes sense. This is about that satisfying instant when the tables turn on an ex who hurt you and it’s your turn to dole out the hurt. It isn’t a particularly noble impulse but, despite the song’s payoff line, there’s not a hint of apology in the vocal.
The single carries a lot of musical weight. It’s mid tempo roots rock with muscular drumming and strains of slide guitar for a bit of extra attitude. The arrangement and instrumentation are good matches for Pharaoh’s rough and tumble voice, but the biggest key to the song’s success is how Pharaoh integrates himself with the arrangement. The theatricality mentioned earlier manifests itself through his phrasing. He sings with sure handed knowledge of what notes to hold and where the stresses fall in the lyric for maximum effect.
This is an entertainer and performing artist. Brian Pharaoh has the vocal range and personality to command a number of musical styles – though “Sorry” is a decidedly one-off tune, there’s another compositional depth to offer evidence of his likely talents in other areas. The rugged baritone texture of his vocals is equal parts American heartland and Deep South twang, but equally capable of swagger and sensitivity.
While one can claim the lyrics and story behind this song is a contrivance, there’s no question that the backing track ambles with Americana authenticity. “Sorry” brings something to the table for country music fans of every persuasion – the casual and hardcore fan alike. Brian Pharaoh knows his stuff and doesn’t appear to have missed a musical beat during his lengthy time away from studio and stage.