Uriel – “Ravens”

 Uriel – “Ravens”

Uriel – “Ravens” – Single Review

Could I even consider it to be a complete day here at the homepage without another artist or band changing their name?  #WelcomeToTheNewNormal

Anyhow.  We’ve got Uriel in review today, so far as I’m told.  You might remember this young man from singles I wrote about that he’d released under a different name back in 2022…songs like “2 AM,” “Young Salamander,” and our first experience with the man, a catchy track that he’d called “Walk In The Snow.”

What’s in a name anyway, right?  It’s one of those things…ultimately, we are who we are…whatever label we choose to go by probably isn’t going to make too much of a difference to the music they’re making or how they approach the art.  I’ve been checking out the brand-new video for a song called “Ravens” that Uriel’s putting out this week, and I’d reckon that this is pretty consistent with the sound of what I’d heard from him in the past.  It’s only been about a year and a half since we last checked in on him, so…you know…it’s not often that you’ll find too many folks making monumental changes in such a relatively short amount of time, if you notice any at all really.  I don’t know that “Ravens” would be a step forward in Uriel’s career so much as a lateral move…but that’s not necessarily a bad thing either.  Evolution is gradual…it’s not something that happens overnight, no matter what name you’re going by.

So let’s see here…what’s working…  I’d say in general, I like “Ravens” and it’d sit somewhere in the mid pack of what I’ve heard from this artist so far.  I think overall, my gut is telling me that it’s a bit on the overstuffed side of the scenario…I suppose the majority of my concerns would be around whether or not Uriel’s put too much into this one track for the masses to hang with.  He’s got half-Rap, full-Rap, singing, some Pop/Rock in the mix, multiple ideas throughout the course of its four minutes in length, and I think maybe even a guest star as well?  There’s lots going on, and when that’s the case, you can often end up watering down the potential potency of even the best parts of what you create, and I feel like that’s possibly the case with “Ravens.”  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a lot of things in the music I listen to as well, which is generally why you’ll find me listening to a whole lot of different artists, bands, and albums on the inside of any given day…but it’s always tougher to examine tracks that want to do a whole bunch of stuff in a single serving.  Like, to me, the most memorable hook we find from Uriel in this track comes in around the three minute mark – and it flies right by before we’re on our way to something else instead.  Most folks would have written a whole song around that one piece, rather than have it remain just the tiny fragment that it is before we move along.  Musically, I like what’s happening in “Ravens” well enough, but admittedly, it was surprising to hear how Uriel chose to use the time he had.  I honestly still couldn’t tell ya one way or the other how I feel about the opening half-Rap verses that Uriel starts “Ravens” with…some of it works, some of it sounds like it’s proving to be a mouthful, and I never really felt convinced that he’d found the right thing to really suit the song at the beginning.  Not to say that there’s specific evidence of me being right about that, but if there’s one thing you can be fairly certain of when it comes to how songwriters work, it’s that when they think they’re really onto something, they tend to bring it back – but what you hear at the start of “Ravens” is the only place that you’ll find it…Uriel keeps the song moving forward, and I feel like that was the right call.  As far as the guest-star (I think?) is concerned, you can hear the quality level-up on the mic right after Uriel’s opening verses…which doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing – it just depends on the perspective you have and whether you want the song to be the standout element, or the person that created it.  I’d say that the majority of songwriter/artists tend to want it to be them…but that’s not ALWAYS the case.  There are many times where the best songwriters out there will completely hand their material to someone else and that was the best move they could have ever made.  Like I said, it’s all about the perspective.

As far as the chorus is concerned, which comes in around the 1:40 mark…I’ll say this – I don’t mind it, but it’s also hard to conceive that it’s going to be the part of the song that catches on with the people out there too.  Around the 2:00 mark, you get what’s essentially a second chorus…like I was tellin’ ya, Uriel has added a lot into this tune…but…yeah…honestly, I like the second one better.  Whether you consider it to be the second half of the first chorus or a second one entirely, like I said, labels are just that – labels.  Doesn’t matter to me what ya choose to call it.  I do like what I’m hearing from him in that particular spot though, and it seems like a logical progression from where we left off with songs like “Young Salamander” in that specific piece of the song.  As far as the finale is concerned, you’ll find Uriel to be capable of really lighting things up.  Not only does he get all kinds of creative with the effects and all that, but the performance, ideas & sound are all highly engaging as “Ravens” heads towards its end.

So…”where you gonna go, what kind of life are you lookin’ for?” Uriel?  “Whatcha gonna do to go the extra mile?” – because that’s the conundrum we’re in here with “Ravens.”  I feel like 3:15-3:40 was really stellar stuff…easily the highlight moment of this new single for me.  All-in-all though, “Ravens” ends up being the audible equivalent of how we can be jacks of all trades and masters of none if we’re not too careful…there’s so much of this song that makes it sound like Uriel is still searching wildly for what works best for him, and what style of music he wants to create.  The best advice I’ve got for him is that you don’t need to create them all at once, you know what I mean?  Pace it out.  Have some fun with it.  Dial in.  Focus.  Sometimes the narrower the scope can be what actually maximizes the potential in us and what we choose to put our energy into.  Right now as it stands, tracks like “Ravens” are going to be the kind of experience where listeners will come back at him just like I have and say they like this piece or that piece, or that a certain part of the song resonated with them more than something else did – but I don’t know that many are going to feel like the entire song as a whole was nailed all the way through.

I’ve always felt like this dude has got a ton of untapped potential…like, I feel like both he and I know he’s got something special to offer the world, and it’s really just a matter of some heavy trial & error before he figures out what’ll work best for him in the long run.  I’m of the mind that “Ravens” is a good tune, but I know the guy’s got greatness within him…and so like the responsible & caring critic I am, my job is to keep on pushing him towards that.  We all want that next single we make to knock it outta the park – and I’m not saying that everyone is going to feel the same way about “Ravens” that I do, because that’s not something I ever do…if this is your jam, then turn it up loud & proud!  For myself personally, I know that Uriel’s best music is still up ahead of him in the future, and I definitely look forward to hearing it.

Find music by Uriel at Spotify here:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/01Quv6emRDshOkYUjNoPtR

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