OssyOneal is a near ideal illustration of how much the music world has changed in the last quarter century and emblematic of a new breed of performer who has risen to an increasingly irrelevant now as young performers like Oneal are able to bypass them and get their music out to people in a much more direct fashion than before. The DIY aesthetic that has defined popular music more and more over the last two decades means we are host to a plethora of artists writing and recording music that comes ripped straight from their innermost emotions. OssyOneal’s “Taylor Swift’s Stairway” is more than just a paean to the iconic singer’s beauty – Oneal is literally quite smitten with her and even goes to the extent of proposing marriage in all seriousness. Some may think this is odd – even vaguely creepy – at first read. Listening to the song, however, makes it abundantly clear that his motives are pure and he’s able, furthermore, to make real musical art from these emotions.
The song begins with a strong R&B influence. Electronic brass sounds reproduce the quality of organic horns closely enough that it feels right and sets up the song quite nicely. Oneal makes his presence felt immediately and asks Swift, with a semi-hushed tone, to marry him. It isn’t a statement delivered ironically. There’s some interesting rhythms Ossy seizes on here for his uses, but the track never veers into hip hop territory and resolutely remains grounded in R&B and soul traditions. He has an ideal voice for the aforementioned type of material and throws himself into the lyrics with an emotive vigor that makes the song soar. “Taylor Swift’s Stairway” runs a little longer than perhaps it should considering that the line of musical attack taken by Oneal doesn’t vary nearly enough to justify its duration, but the music retains a fleet-footed quality throughout and complements his voice quite nicely.
The lyrical content might be quite personal, it’s essentially a love song, but Oneal does an excellent job of conveying his loving obsession with a conversational style that virtually any listener can relate to. He also takes great care, reflected in the vocal, to get across a depth of emotion that cuts against the electronic foundations of the song and gives it a distinctly human quality it needs. OssyOneal’s song “Taylor Swift’s Stairway” is an unusual love song, but it’s unquestionably working within that tradition and the considerable personality that Oneal brings to the track makes it all the more of an endearing experience. He means every word that he says and crouches it in a musical arrangement that dovetails quite nicely into his sentiments. OssyOneal is a talent who isn’t going away and promises to improve and leave more of an impact on listeners each time out.