Rockie Brown – “Hero” – Single Review
It was just last month that I discovered what a fan of Rockie Brown I am through the release of her absolutely wild single “Get Gone” in May. 100% savage on the mic, she tore up our speakers with confidence and an authentic attitude that left a lasting impression for sure with “Get Gone” – to the point where it would be seriously tough to come out swinging just as hard as she did the last time. I try to remain conscious of these situations – I ran into one just yesterday with the band Neon Radiation – sometimes style tries to dictate standards…but when you switch that up as an artist/band, you should also have the freedom of creativity & support of your fan-base that your art & music deserve. No artist that I’ve ever run into really wants to be pigeon-holed into doing just one thing – and as a new one breaking out, there’s no better time to establish versatility than right at the very beginning of a career.
Essentially, if you keep us expecting the unexpected, you’re always going to have the freedom of choice when it comes to the music you make without feeling pressure anywhere from the outside. The new single “Hero” undoubtedly shows a completely different side of Rockie’s sound/style/music/capabilities than what we experienced last time around with “Get Gone” – and ultimately, it’s going to pay off for this artist to have gone this route so early on. You certainly get the sense from “Get Gone” that she’s capable of taking on the entire world if she wanted to…and although it’s always tougher for the people out there to get truly excited over a slow-burning sound like you’ll find on “Hero” – she’s got herself another quality single. And she’s given us another piece of the puzzle, as we take another glimpse into what’s to be found on Brown’s EP called Mad World, which is out there & available for ya now y’all.
I think of the difference between the two cuts like this…we were introduced to the vibrant personality & cutting-edge character that Rockie Brown is through “Get Gone” – and while she certainly flexed a TON of skill and electrifying presence on the mic, it’s a song like “Hero” that instantly has you appreciating that this multi-talented artist is also multi-faceted in her sound & ideas as well. One single, solitary tune, is never going to tell the full story – nor is it potentially going to ever provide an artist/band the ability to put ALL their skills on display at one time…or perhaps more accurately, hopefully it doesn’t? “Hero” proves there was much more inside of Rockie than we got to experience in that first impression.
So don’t get me wrong…I’ve just been doing this whole music thang long enough to be realistic about what the reactions will be to a slower/mid-tempo tune…especially when you bust onto the scene with the vibrant explosion she rocketed onto the charts with in a song like “Get Gone.” Most people will tend to expect something similar to come right afterwards…that’s just human nature; so when you switch it up this much from single-to-single, that in itself can sometimes be the hook…it’s so noticeable that people instantly start paying attention & start talking about what’s up over at the water-cooler. In my heart-of-hearts, there are zero reasons that I can think of that people should be any less excited about a quality tune, no matter what pace, tempo, sound, or style it comes out in…but from my experience, I’m often the exception & not the rule when it comes to all that. Personally, I really dig this hybrid song that Rockie’s got going on here…when “Hero” first began to plunge into its atmospherically-inclined sound, I thought we might be in for something like a McLachlan/Delerium combo from back in the day…then as Rockie began to sing with the soul & jazz in her tone, I felt it shift into a Protection-era Massive Attack like sound…and as it went even further, this new single creeped & crawled along like it was filtered through the dark-perspective of a band like Garbage, maybe even more-so as the chorus burst open.
Like I’ve been saying – Rockie is all and none of these things at the same time – she’s an enigma, and an entertaining one to say the very least. Undoubtedly the main difference between my first & second experiences with her music is that I’ve been able to make a few minor comparisons here between Rockie and other artists/bands out there on “Hero” – and last time with “Get Gone,” there wasn’t a comparison to be made. So in a sense…there’s arguably a little less identity in a track like “Hero” than what we heard last time around perhaps, but there are still multiple reasons to love & support a song as strong as she’s got here. Brown sings with real slick style throughout the verses, and she’s beyond magnificent when it comes to just how far she’ll rise in the chorus, armed with powerful tones that perfectly detonate & soar brilliantly into the music. Notably, she’s done an equally exceptional job in the backing-vocals whenever they’re threaded into the mix…really smart placement & structure when it comes to what we hear sparkling on the surface to slow-burning underneath. Music-wise, “Hero” was massively enticing to me…I think the low-key intensity that smolders through the verses is exceptionally rad…and I definitely felt like the main hooks of the chorus were performed with such a passionate & professional approach that this single stands a solid chance of really grabbing people’s attention through its boldest moments. Overall, I think “Hero” is a great cut to add to her catalog, and a song that shows us more dimension & depth all-around when it comes to the Rockie Brown sound. It might not instantly catch people as quickly as the in-your-face methods & mayhem of a song like “Get Gone” did – but I’m more than confident that within a couple of spins, the slow-burn of “Hero” will be blazing through your speakers this summer and satisfying your face-holes with her spectacular vocals. Really solid cut Rockie.
Find out more about Rockie Brown at her official website here: http://rockiebrown.com