Whitebeard – Paris

Sparkling strings cut through a piano-driven melody, and out of the darkness emerges a gritty vocal that starts to harmonize with them. The tempo is slow and pendulous, but the energy is urgent, almost to the point of feeling a little rushed. There’s a passion in our lead singer’s voice that isn’t reflected in the melodic instrumentation surrounding it, but still finds a way to infect the beat of the drums with its optimistic tone. This is “Paris,” the latest release from Whitebeard, and though it’s not the most stunning song that’s out this spring, it’s a solid representation of who its composer is – for better or worse – and moreover, who he’s aspiring to be in this next chapter of his career.

The harmony between the vocal and the guitar is sharp as a tack, and it balances out the tininess of the bassline and regrettably shallow piano parts excellently. I don’t like the contrasting pace in the instrumental elements here, but I can see where Whitebeard might have found it to be an exotic way of jazzing up an otherwise plain pop/rock ballad.

There’s a slight country twang that I would have enjoyed hearing a bit more of, and I don’t think that it’s enough to qualify “Paris” as a country song per-say. One thing that Whitebeard has going for him over his contemporaries is his flexibility as a songwriter. This single is eccentric to a fault, but at the same time it’s incredibly inspired thanks to its vivacious lead vocalist.

Lately I’ve got better vibes from other output in the Canadian underground than what this new cut from Whitebeard packs, but “Paris” should suffice as a satisfactory swing tune for country, soft rock and adult contemporary fans who enjoy eclectic melodicism that has more than its share of quirks.

Plaid Is the New Black, which includes this single in its tracklist, has a conceptualism that might be a little daunting to casual music enthusiasts, but for the serious audiophile, its experimental nature will leave you either loving what Whitebeard is doing or wondering why you chose to acquire this record over another this season.

Personally, I definitely think he’s on the right track towards breaking through on both a creative and a commercial level in “Paris,” and I’m excited to hear how he follows it up.

If you enjoyed Paris, check out Whitebeard’s official website by clicking here. Give him a like on Facebook by clicking here & a follow on Twitter by clicking here. Pickup a copy of the new album Plaid Is The New Black on CD Baby by clicking here.

Eric Jarvis

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