Contemporary, Yet Fulfilling
Today in the hard rock industry, it is incredibly difficult to break the proverbial mold and stand out as unique. Record labels within the pop element of hard rock are looking for the same traits in their artists: heavy, but not too heavy, with a sound that bridges the gap between the Top 40 and the obscure rock and metal elements. He Is Legend’s newest release, Few, falls along the lines of the contemporary aesthetic, but doesn’t have the same cookie cutter feel as is expected of a great number of more “manufactured” artists, so to speak.
The opening track, “Air Raid,” cuts straight to the chase with a quick progression and a straightforward arrangement. This revolves around a simple but omnipresent drum sequence that, at the drop of a hat, jumps up in tempo as if acting as a siren to signal that the audience has entered the point of no return; at this point, the hook will snag even the most resolute of listeners. Adding to the sense of magnetism, throughout the album, Schuylar Croom’s vocal range and energy is nothing less than a spectacular display.
The entire record has an effect that is two-fold. The first facet is that it is not over-the-top by any means and, if played as background, it will allow the listener to tune in and out without repercussion. The second facet is that even though a more mainstream and polished feel is ever-present, the subject matter and intricacy of the arrangements do not escape the trained ear of a habitual hard rock enthusiast.
All in all, Few is a fundamentally solid release that can be best described as contemporary, yet fulfilling. Though not especially breathtaking upon first listen, the complexity and emotion behind the arrangements become apparent with time or a focused ear.