The new single from Chinese hip hop artist Cale Yuan, performing under the name Cale, is entitled “Good Day” and represents the next big step for a career that’s been experiencing a steady rise since before his twentieth birthday. Now twenty-four years old, Cale’s previous singles like 2013’s “Boston” and “I’m Yours”, 2016’s “Theatrical”, and a 2017 partnership with another hip hop artist, Killazy, on the single “Formula”. He ended 2017 with his first English language release, an EP named Villain, and following it up with this powerful single “Good Day” is a certain sign Cale’s talents are exponentially expanding and he hasn’t yet to show any limits to his skills. Instead, “Good Day” bubbles over with more promise than anything he’s so far released and will earn him a lot of new fans. The four minute running time for this song is ideal for its punchy appeal and will only win audiences over with his growing exposure.
The airy and light-footed musical arrangement backing Cale’s vocal is a colorful vehicle for Cale’s voice and lyrical content, but it’s definitely worth hearing and appreciating on its own merits. It’s a mix of interesting percussion, all pre-programmed computerized drumming, a light bass pulse, and an assortment of low-key synth flourishes. The backing track is enveloped in a warm, inviting sound and, despite clearly playing second fiddle to the vocal, has just the right amount of prominence for listeners. The song runs four minutes long, on the dot, and the musical arrangement maintains a steady line of attack from the first that never changes except to amplify itself at key moments, like the chorus. Despite this relative lack of variation, listeners will never find themselves bored with the track. It’s based on a groove and audiences will ride that groove from beginning to end.
The vocal phrasing from Cale is one of the unquestionable highlights of the song as he, in essence, uses his voice as another instrument with its crisp, rhythmic dispatch and the understated swing in his words. He clearly enunciates the words and the English language proves to pose no problem for him in getting it over with listeners. Cale particularly excels with his work on each refrain and there’s some light post-production effects applied to each chorus that accentuates his vocal talents. His lyrics, as well, are a strong point of his presentation. There are strong and general details coupled alongside turns of phrase that will latch in listener’s consciousness and Cale puts them over with a ton of personality that never has to come off boisterous. “Good Day” is one of 2018’s best hip hop tunes and has the sort of style we associate with much more experienced performers, but Cale is cut from a different cloth and his performance on this song represents a whole new day for this talented performer.