Natalie Jean – “Red Room” – Single Review
Sleek single from singer/songwriter Natalie Jean – “Red Room” hits the mark. A hypnotic rhythm assembled through the combination of her vocal talent and the stunning music around her – “Red Room” solidly pulses along in a captivating atmosphere that holds your attention firmly as it plays. Love the flow on the vocals…it’s kind of got that Ri-Ri style of working that melody and rhythm into a couple of powerful lines and letting the repetition work its magic…but I think it comes out authentic on “Red Room” without sounding like imitation. Certainly similarities in the electro-R&B approach and ideas in the chorus – but it’s all done really well…it’s more of a good thing and there’s still plenty of room for Natalie Jean to get in here and break her own ground within the genre.
The music really sets the tone in the mood and atmosphere…and you can hear that Natalie Jean is feeling the rhythm and vibe in the way her energy sways to match the melody of the electro-groove. Love the way the percussion and drums sound in the mix…they’re distant and carry a gigantic amount reverb…and they sound great in the thick of the verse. I’m not 100% sold on the strength of the verse itself in comparison to the real hit she’s created in the hooks of the chorus. The verse feels a lot less defined…Natalie Jean delivers confidently and sounds solid in her auto-tuned vibe, but the writing itself almost seems less focused by comparison to the rich & fully-explored ideas of the chorus on “Red Room.”
So…the question becomes, does the chorus make the song? Or can a chorus make a song? First of all…let me just clarify – the verse still works…and without its more minimal-energy, maybe the chorus might not stand-out and pop as much as it does…so for the record, can’t deny it still does WORK. That being said…does this particular chorus end up being the star of the show? I absolutely think so. I really do dig the production overall, verse included – but everything just goes straight-up & soaring to that next-level when Natalie Jean hits that chorus with a perfect mix of melancholy & contrasting beauty in her tone. Lyrically, from the sounds of the words on “Red Room” – Natalie Jean has been knocked down before – but don’t count her out by any means. She adds real confidence to the lyrics that suggest any obstacles she’s had in her way she’s moved past and found her way through. Her rhythmic approach to the lyrics works really well in her favor as the words sound like they flow one into the other and really add to the overall melody of the song. I can’t really think of what I’d change if it were up to me…the more I listened, the more I felt like the verse led really well into the chorus and that the contrasting energy between the two parts was a real strength in the writing of this song.
Still…I can’t deny that the parts I’m singing out loud here in the comfort of sleepingbagstudios is within the hooks of the excellent chorus Natalie’s created with only two words and a follow-up sentence. I think that she’s able to carry the song so strongly with minimal wordage actually speaks a lot to her ability to combine rhythm and beauty into a memorable moment in time. She’s done really well here…there’s a massive amount of people that would dig the vibe of “Red Room,” guaranteed – myself included.
You can find the single “Red Room” available on her latest record Unafraid – and you can find out more about the music of Natalie Jean at her official page at: www.natalie-jean.com