The Singer’s Voice is Marked by Intense Emotion and Control
By Jessica Passione-Sanchez
There’s a sweet falsetto making its mark in the realm of alternative R&B coming from 23-year old singer/songwriter Gallant. His new album “Ology” is a poetic display of his artistic ability and shows exactly why everyone should be paying attention to what he is capable of producing.
His lyrics are clear and his instrumentals play the part that should by complimenting his voice, not overwhelming it.
His style of singing is at times reminiscent of Usher because of the impressive control he has over his high-pitched but incredibly soothing voice.
The emotion in his voice is so intense at times, that it’s almost painful to listen to. He spends much of the album singing lyrics heavy with self-searching and the pain that lingers from failed relationships. His vulnerability is both enticing and relatable.
“Bone + Tissue” is a great example of the powerful result of that combination. There’s a simple bassline that has just enough rhythm to pull you into the track but it’s his lyricism that separates it from your average R&B love song.
“Sell me something I can use to catapult my value,” he sang in the first line of the chorus. This line resonates with anyone who has ever felt inadequate for any reason. One of the qualities of great music is the ability to make you feel something, anything.
The artist melodically verbalizes sentiments creating an audio testament of what’s going on beneath the surface. Gallant’s “Bone + Tissue” is a masterpiece because of this.
“Tell me I’m a monument to more than bone and tissue?”
His request ends the chorus to this song that touches on the topic of God, religion, and the struggle of recognizing one’s self-worth.
There is only one other artist featured on the album. Jhene Aiko, the goddess of R&B, adds her own touch of vocal excellence to the song “Skipping Stones.”
“What am I missing,” Gallant and Aiko harmoniously question throughout the song.
“Skipping Stones” is about figuring out where things went wrong and understanding that some things just can’t be forced.
While Gallant’s voice is similar to one of the biggest names in R&B and pop, it’s difficult to place him alongside other larger names in those genres, like The Weeknd or Frank Ocean, because his vulnerability is different and this isn’t a bad thing. Gallant is in a category that is all his own.
After all, innovation is what makes an artist memorable.
Throughout his entire album he solidifies his own style of music and lyricism. The interlude “Oh Universe” is the perfect example of the his poetic ability where he refers to himself as “a pauper, fickle and bruised.”
Songs about love, sex, and the painful battles that can erupt from the two have always been popular in R&B and we, as listeners, love them.
Gallant’s music shows another a battle, a personal one that you have within yourself when you’re trying to hold it together while realizing your place in the world.
His lyrics and voice are both such crucial parts of the album but the thing that ties it all together is his use of instrumentals.
They are powerful when they need to be and help build the emotional parts of the songs when his voice needs an extra push. At times, they are so somber that no words are needed to invoke emotion. During others, they are textured and vibrant.
The intro and outro of the album simply named “First” and “Last” showcase his understanding of the impact that unique instrumentals can have on a listener.
“First” utilizes a single low note to start the album and a subtle deep voice.
The dark feeling it ensues only lasts for a couple of seconds before “Talking To Myself” starts and a simple hip-hop beat changes things up, creating a drastic variety in under a minute.
The background music goes back and forth between this throughout the rest of the album.
“Last” brings the tone back down through a single low note that then transforms into the sound of static, ending the album and allowing you to process the musical and emotional masterpiece that is “Ology.”