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SINGLE REVIEW: Cool Ride by Peter Senior

It’s refreshing to come across an artist willing to explore new territories which have their roots in the past, and even more impressive that this new interpretation actually works on its own merit. Today’s music climate is such that thankfully there’s room for all forms of expression and delineation. Pete Senior’s new single, taken from his debut album On the Edge, is one such artistic endeavour.

It’s a bold rock-infused soul and blues sound right from the get-go, a steaming pulse of a rhythm sets the pace which doesn’t let up until the very end. Pete’s cross-over style manages to reign in the temptation into full retro mode by the very nature of his vocal performance, harnessing a grizzly yet alluring tone which treats the listener to a new blend of contemporary pop, suggestive and lively yet sprinkled throughout with theatrical nuance.

The lyric reflects a full palette of temptation too, which begins in earnest but by the end of the track ascends to the heights of perfect pomp and dizzying aural taunts. The instrumentation is at times quite sparse with the tom-laden backbeat just the right scaffolding for the vocals, the melodic twists and turns, and those sneaking brass lines that tumble in and around the backing singers’ pledges.

The arrangement is thoughtful, allowing the rhythm and melodic counterpoints to work in tandem, and before you know it, the Cool Ride you’re on is over. Akin to Alabama 3’s slice of soundtrack reverence as featured in The Sopranos’ theme song, Woke Up This Morning, Cool Ride could just as easily slot into a similarly designed visual concept or landscape.

Its restraint is purposely enticing no doubt, but it’s cinematic feel and sensibilities leave you imagining an altogether new tale of grandiose delicacies and dramas.

Despite the track building throughout, a sonic locomotive whose jazz-fused cadences keep it from boiling over entirely, it’s the vocal performance which stands out.

Threatening to derail at several points throughout the song, Pete’s restrained yet animated delivery ties the whole experience together, the vaguely sardonic manner treating the listener to a form of modern theatre pop that is as audacious and persuasive as it is self-revealing. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, that’s what is clear about Peter Senior’s blend of signature styles, it relies on historical acknowledgements to become an appetising piece on its own merit; a praise-worthy homage it might be, but it also seems to push some buttons, especially after the first hearing. With repeated listens one learns to appreciate the subtleties for what they are, a genuine attempt to merge the new with the not so new in order to create a truly enticing slice of piano filled mainstream adult pop satisfaction.








By Vince Leigh

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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