‘Human’ a different kind of soul album

Feb 21 • Arts & Leisure • 968

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ALLAN COLLINS
staff writer

Rag’n’Bone Man, otherwise known as Rory Graham, just came out with his sophomore album “Human.”
Graham comes from East Sussex, England, and has a passion for indie soul and blues music. The LP is filled with soul, blues, folk and even gospel, though it’s not directed toward religion.
The album has a great mix of eeriness and smoothness that is woven throughout. Graham really wants you to hear him and his message in every song.
Starting off the album is “Human,” the first single to hit our ears. It received huge praise for its power and emotion that Graham tries to show, both lyrically and sonically.
The song is eerie and moody, but makes you slow down and think about where you are in life. It’s definitely the best song on the album and the easiest to listen to.
The second song, “Innocent Man,” and the fourth song, “Be the Man,” both have this great use of R&B and ‘90s hip-hop that really makes the songs feel smooth and flow flawlessly.
They both use this to help smooth out the song. Then you add Graham’s voice and you have something as smooth as butter. Lyrically they both have a great message about religion.
“Skin” is the third song and is probably the most gospel off the album. It has a great organ in the background that really guides the emotion and tone of the song.
The song is incredibly emotional and you can feel that throughout. Then “Bitter End” hits you with a great transition from gospel to blues. The emotion changes, but only sonically.
One of the most eerie-sounding and powerful songs on the album is “Love You Any Less.” The song doesn’t disappoint.
The piano ballad really hits your soul and the message of love that Graham tries to portray hits even harder. The song might be gentle sounding, but the power within the song is definitely there.
The next two songs are the worst tracks on the album. “Odetta” starts out very powerfully like “Love You Any Less,” but falls short on the power that the rest of the album has. It’s not a bad song, but not great.
Then there is “Grace,” which is a very dry song. The power is gone from this particular song. It is trying too hard to keep with the flow that “Love You Any Less” had, but just can’t do it. It just sounds like it’s slowly dragging you through.

The next two songs, “Ego” and “Arrow,” definitely are the best songs on the album. They both have this ‘90s hip-hop influence, with a great touch of jazz, that really pushes the song forward.
But, the best is that “Arrow” bounces off “Ego” to help give a deeper meaning to love and relationships. “Ego” has an inner city flow, while “Arrow” has the church you go to in the city vibe.
The very last song of the album “Die Easy” is a great ending song. It’s a bit hard to listen to if you’re not used to it. But the power and talent are incredible.
The song is the most moving of all the songs because Graham is singing from the heart. No music is playing; just the sound of his voice is amazing.
Without a doubt this album is a powerhouse of emotion. Almost all the songs take you on a journey through life, love, sadness and happiness.
They all keep you wanting to hear more because of the great production, lyrics, styles and more.
I would highly recommend the album to anyone looking for a soul, blues or gospel album that is a bit different than the rest.
Rating: 8.5/10
Favorite Song: “Arrow”
Least Favorite Song: “Grace”
Related Artists: Bastille, Vince Staples, The Rum Committee

 

ALLAN COLLINS
collins049@knights.gannon.edu

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