Pop music's co-opting of epic-ness and romance seems like the greatest betrayal of the finest aspects of the human experience. It's the difference between a quiet night at home with someone you love, with all of its layers and nuances, and the melodramatic bombast of Titanic, which reduces love, loyalty and friendship into a series of manipulative sound triggers, reducing the human experience to a series of primary colors rather than hues and shades.
Reviewing albums for a living (or just being a fan of music, these days) is a funny and confusing business. An album can sound almost exactly the same as another, where one speaks to you, while the other repulses. It's a tricky, subjective pursuit that is difficult to pin down and describe.
Warren who is from Dallas, TX is using a similar sonic pallet to popular, club-infused, R&B inflected electro-pop that you can hear from bands like Sia to the Black Eyed Peas to recent Stars output on his EP Fantastic Voyage. While some use the combination of beats, synth, emotive pianos and layered, soulful vocals to shrill, bombastic effect, Warren actually compels, seduces, drawing you into his world, making you feel what he feels.
Warren describes the origin of Fantastic Voyage: "This release really just symbolizes my journey through the past year 2014, finding myself, and figuring out that music is what I make it, as young musician you often think your sound has to match everyone else's, but this year I learned that music is my playground, it is playful and full of surprises, and that's what I think this release is, playful and full of surprises."
This entire EP is a pleasant surprise. The beats are solid and powerful without becoming harsh or abrasive, intricate and ever evolving. Warren also has an utterly fantastic voice, warm and full with a good sense of pitch, which does a lot to hold the whole thing together. He's also either an excellent piano player or programmer, or a little bit of both. I thought the epic, moody piano solo was over, played out by early '90s hip-hop, but Warren's bringing it back.
It's funny but the less bragging and boastful a record is the more it stands out. Warren's got a pure heart, and he's in it for the right reasons. It speaks in the volumes and the silences.
Fans of recent R&B mutations like The Weeknd, 18+, and club pop like Sia's “Chandelier” or early Lady Gaga will find a lot to grab hold of here.
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