Charles Parker experienced considerable Spotify driven success with his single “Party Girls (Remix)” and his latest track “Love Is Us” builds on its achievements. Parker has made his way through the musical landscape for twenty years so you can’t label him an overnight sensation destined to burn out just as quick. Instead, the Baltimore native has honed his chops over those two decades to such an extent that he ranks among the brightest stars currently shining in the modern musical firmament. His 2017 release Bring Back the Sun made waves on country radio, but his sound is far broader based than just modern country. He brings rock and folk influences to the table as well that makes for a well-rounded musical package far outstripping many of his contemporaries.
“Love Is Us” has a little bit of everything musically. There’s a strong modern country polish to the track, but it also possesses a strong rock music backbeat during significant stretches of the cut and a lighter near singer/songwriter touch during the verses. He provides listeners and future audiences with a bold and boisterous chorus guaranteed to have capacity crowds on their feet, but wisely never overplays his hand to the point of cliché. He walks a fine line with this track. If he went too far, there would be little to distinguish this song from the ocean of cookie cutter singalong tracks plastered across modern airwaves and platforms. Instead, however, Parker shows us his artistry here and makes the track stick in your memory.
He has an inviting vocal style without possesses a wide range. Parker is the sort of singer listeners implicitly trust because he relates to them on their level rather than attempting to wow them with an assortment of empty vocal pyrotechnics. His gift for phrasing bears mentioning. Parker varies his approach to the refrain, hitting common strands throughout the track, but mixing things up enough to keep the performance fresh and engaging as it unfolds. His lack of a blow down the walls voice is never an obstacle for this track and his singing enhances the narrative aspects of his songwriting.
The track’s accompanying video has outstanding professional polish and invokes many common motifs of the form. It hews close enough to Parker’s songwriting and shows imagination in that regard that many other performers, modern or otherwise, lack when turning their attention to promotional clips. The lush colors and evocative filming never distract listeners from the songwriting, however; instead, it strengthens the overall package.
Charles Parker’s “Love is Us” will land well with those already familiar with his work while gaining him many new fans in the process. This is music meant for a live audience and has an universal touch that appeals to a wide crowd rather than sounding like its targeted for a particular musical niche. Parker’s long career in music testifies to his passion for writing and performing; we will hear more from him, there’s no doubt. This is the kind of musician who, even if he never recorded another note or played another gig, would continue to write and play for his own satisfaction if nothing else. Music is in his blood.