A little taste of Cliff Beach’s soul
Cliff Beach is a man of many talents. Between being a radio personality, podcast host and author, it is hard to believe that he has the time or energy to be a successful musician. Specializing in R&B and soul music, his first LP was released in 2017. Since then, Beach has released a plethora of singles and EPs, and even a Christmas album in 2021. His new EP, Son of a Beach, is an enjoyable collection of four original songs.
The first track “So Into You” is a groovy, jazz-inspired piece. Beach showcases his vocal range as he quickly alternates between his chest voice and falsetto. His vocal styling is reminiscent of James Brown and Stevie Wonder—two of the greatest funk/soul artists in American history. The melody of the track bounces up and down over jazzy piano chords, creating an electric sound that kicks off the EP.
“The Truth” featuring Mesitzo Beat is the second track on the project. This song feels much less upbeat and energetic than the previous, as Beach begs his romantic interest in the song to “tell the truth.” The instrumentation in the song fails to compliment the story of the song, and feels like an odd juxtaposition.
“Wildflower” was recorded twice, with the band version being the third song on the album, and the string version being the fifth. Both are very slow, ballad-like tracks that balance the project very well. The band version complements the other songs, but the string version was also pleasant to listen to and a nice addition to the EP. “Wildflower (Band Version)” is the high point of the album, showing Beach’s strongest vocal performance. The fourth track, “I Got Soul,” is similar to the first track “So Into You.” However, this track aptly features a bass as well as a background soul choir.
Unfortunately, since the EP is only five tracks (two of which are just different arrangements of the same song) we don’t get much new content to listen to from Beach. Along with this, because “I Got Soul” and “So Into You” sound so similar, it feels like we get even little variety in such a short project. Luckily, “Wildflower” and “So Into You” are enjoyable enough to overlook the lack of variety. Ultimately, Son of a Beach keeps his audience hoping for a more diverse-sounding album for his next project.