Hats off to Daniel Harper for creating some very conscious and present content on his EP The Life. These writings and notions are about lifting the veil on the constructs of society pertaining to success, happiness and other predetermined expectations. You get a good taste of The Life from just the title track which sits at the top of the list like an ambassador of new age ready to usher in some thumping beats and provocative lyrics. And we haven’t even touched on Harper’s vocals yet. It’s passion and it’s drama, it’s smooth - it’s on point. His experience and maturity is a testament to his east coast roots, Boston exposure and Nashville immersion. There are layers of soul, hip-hop and beneath it all is rich character.
“The Life” takes us on a journey from Harper’s formative years to his current situation of a long-winded dream chase, which to me has paid off. It’s a song that touches on some hypocritical jargon that we teach kids at impressionable and pliable years – “You can be whatever you want to be.” Sure, that’s a nice gesture and inspires their minds to expand beyond the limitations they may perceive but that novelty too often fades, as they get older.
For Harper, it was his dream with music. Teachers and parents said they wanted the best for him and that he should pursue his passion but he became much more aware that they really just wanted to see him fall in line with the cookie cutter program – graduate, job, wife, kids. That’s the life, after all. Right?
On “Love Comes Around” the beat is back in the forefront and piano has joined the mix with simplistic beauty. That open hi hat might be the glue that holds this groove above the rest. I’ve always had a love for its effect and you’ll know what I mean when your head rocks. Strong chorus, strong bridge, this has a great impact on the album.
On a similar note of importance is the closing track, “I Want You.” It’s very love song in the beginning but as the beat opens up and his voice reaches you can see it’s much more than some syrupy filler. He creates some nice melodic compliments and catchy voice doubling harmonies. It’s calming, deep and just the right amount of anthem. I can see his crowds definitely lifting their voices to this one, swaying in unison with eyes closed and hearts open. Daniel Harper is a name I want to be familiar with.
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