Nicholas Rae is a young man who is just getting his start with his music career. He started writing music at seventeen and completed his first EP Pain & Grace soon after he graduated high school.
Pain & Grace contains four songs by someone who you can tell is just getting started, This is mostly due to how simple the songwriting is. Rae has not gotten away from minor and major chords or 4/4 timing. In fact Rae sticks to simplistic strumming on a single guitar except on the last song “Kids On The Playground.” There is nothing wrong with keeping it simple but there is a lot more for him to learn and hopefully implement into his music in the future.
He's a solid singer who sings about subjects that other young people can relate to. The lyrics are emotive and are easy to understand. You won't be confused by any poetic ramblings.
Up first is “Once Again” which revolves around drums, guitar and vocals. In my opinion the drums didn't need to be in there. They sounded programmed and too clean compared to the other elements. The fact that there are no fills or changes either makes it feel static. His vocals are the focal center and the anchor of the song.
He ditches the drums on “A Hundred Miles” which is a standard pop-punk song that sounded like a lot of other songs out there. The lead guitar was notable. He slows things down with “Save Me” which is a little slower and well delivered. The highlight was “Kids on The Playground.” I thought the melody was a standout and I really enjoyed the vocal performance.
When I was around Rae’s age I was writing songs for about four years. Twenty years later and I’m still at it and still learning. My point is that Rae is just getting started and he has a lot of time to improve upon this foundation and find a niche sound. He's off to a solid start and is gifted with a palatable voice. I'm sure we will be hearing more from him soon.
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