The first of three EPs comprising James Vincent’s solo career, For Kicking is a rich collection of songs that draws heavily from classic rock n’ roll, as well as a touch of modern pop and folk vibes. Vincent’s past participation in bands have prepared him well to become a solo singer/songwriter, and his first release as a one-man-band shows reveals both his natural talent and his honed skills.
A lone electric guitar and Vincent’s voice open the album with an emotive, almost jazzy rock riff in “There’s Darkness.” Shortly after, the rest of the instruments join in with polished percussion, solid bass guitar, vocal harmonies and accompanying guitar to create a comprehensive soundscape. Vincent carries the energy of the tune with his voice, effortlessly molding his voice to the current energy level of the song.
“What Could I Say” a bright folk tune with acoustic instrumentation follows the album’s opener with a similarly high level of energy, although with a very dissimilar atmosphere. Instead of electric guitar solos, this track exhibits acoustic solos, giving this song a much more down-to-earth, approachable feel. Continuing in the folk style, “Wheredurlovgo” employs layered vocals and a traditional folk strumming pattern, as well as droning synthesized string sounds to create a unique blend of instruments, melodies and chording patterns that successfully combine into a very enjoyable listen.
Vincent decides to make rhythmic percussion and vocals the focal point of “A Second Time” a touching song that rides the border between ballad and anthem. A chorus of background vocals, as well as a droning organ-like synthesizer sound, provide the backdrop upon which Vincent lays down the lead vocals for the piece.
The album comes to a close with “City Lullabye” a somber piece led by beautiful acoustic guitars and genuine lyrics that proceed with resolve to the record’s ending. As shown by the For Kicks EP, James Vincent is a talented rising singer/songwriter with a penchant for writing and performing memorable songs that combine flair, structural brilliance and combinations of several popular musical genres, factors that, when summated, make for a truly special artist.
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