Natty Ward is a singer/songwriter from Florida who recently released an EP entitled The Peaked in Elementary School. Ward looks back into his youth somewhat nostalgically as he touches upon pop culture references. He is armed with little more than his guitar and vocals although some piano does show up on the EP.
He opens with “First Mayor of Mars! (An Introduction).” His vocal delivery is so exuberant you can visualize his facial expressions and he sounds like he is singing to a bunch of eight-year olds at Disneyland. He is thematic to say the least. The song revolves around the topic of having a “dream job.” He sings, “Well, that’s certainly an interesting question, I’d have to say the first Mayor of Mars! And I’m not even done; that’s not yet it Oh not at all I’d also be Batman and a philanthropist.”
Do you remember that boy band LFO from the ‘90’s? Well Ward hits a similar vibe on “Send Me Out.” He kind of sort of raps at points and then transitions into a catchy chorus. Ward introduces some piano on “Shitty Stand-up Bits” which after hearing his skill I thought was underutilized.
“Still Young, There's Time” is a short interlude, which is more or less a motivational Tony Robbins-esque speech. He doesn’t sing at all but instead talks about having a sense of urgency and not procrastinating. It’s a familiar platitude that is found in countless self-help books over the decades but still holds some truth. Ward revisits that LFO rap/singing vibe on “Yo-Yo” and “The Graduate.”
Ward’s biggest strength on this album is being able to conceptualize an idea and integrate it into each song. He taps around the general nostalgia for youth and the unbridled energy a young man or woman can feel after their years of education are in the rear view mirror and a life of almost limitless yet overwhelming possibilities exist in their future.
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