Bright beats, sad souls
Drama is the name of a duo side project between two musicians, Na’el Shehade and Via Rosa. Shehade is the producer behind the music, while Rosa sings and writes. Both of their rich backgrounds and cultures help influence their art. Drama’s goal is to make sure every song they release is danceable.
Drama’s latest venture is an album titled Dance Without Me. The project starts off an a mellow note, with track “7:04” that displays the softer side of pop, with a hypnotic slow beat and quiet percussion. “Years” is the song that follows and is slightly more upbeat, however, it still has the melancholic feel of the previous track, emphasized by echoing vocals and a somber message of “even in death/ I hope you’ll know I was here for you.”
A couple of the lead singles off the album are “Hold On” and “Gimme Gimme” which showcase the dance-pop sound the duo is heavily influenced by; with repetitive lyrics matched to catchy melodies. “Gimmie Gimmie” in particular has an old school ’80s vibe meshed with the current synth sounds that are definitely reminiscent of the trendier side of indie-pop.
One track that stands out just a bit from the rest is “Good For Nothing” that somehow is the perfect balance of electronic elements, ’80s influence and current moody pop with emotional vocals and vulnerable yet beautiful lyrics like “There’s nothing better than a good love letter to confess/ and I thought there was nothing left” and “I used to dream of falling in love/ I had some dark, strange fantasy of/ finding the one.”
The project ends on a piano-tinged note with the album’s namesake, “Dance Without Me.” While the song doesn’t share the dance-like quality some of the others do, it is the track with the most R&B touch. There’s even a dash of jazz in the vocals and alternative styles in the beat.
Dance Without Me is a good mix of songs that are easy and catchy as well as dark and deep. Drama explores a gentler, more heartbreaking side of dance-pop. Tragic words, sad emotions masked by upbeat, entrancing tunes.