Drew Davidsen – Out of the Blue
Top shelf pop rock with a jazzy/bluesy edge seldom comes better than this. Drew Davidsen’s “Out of the Blue” is a featured track and single from Davidsen’s A Good Life album and, if the single’s quality is any indication, anyone buying the album is in store for a real treat. Davidsen has taken his obvious influences as a musician, jazz and blues, and subsumed them into a delicious pop rock structure maximizing his talents for melody and benefitting from a high class production job accentuating all the positives. He shows himself to be an adept vocalist, as well, capable of bringing memorable phrasing to a solid lyric and using his voice percussively without ever sounding too showy. He’s obviously surrounded himself with a cadre of great collaborators and their presence, undoubtedly, further fuels the palpable confidence on this recording. “Out of the Blue” is a stirring reminder of what this form is capable of in the right hands.
His cool confidence is apparent from the start. Soaring straight into the chorus takes some courage, but if there’s any hesitation to the decision, Davidsen doesn’t betray a second of it. The chorus begins the song on a true high note as its one of the song’s strongest elements, but it doesn’t create impossible expectations for the remainder to follow. The verses are comparatively stripped back, but they fit in well with the relatively boisterous chorus without ever seeming incongruous. He tempers his vocal approach accordingly. He lets his passions fly on the chorus, but he tones things down during the verses and the Morse Code like guitar lines during the verses are ideally suited for the tenor of his voice during those moments. The rhythm section as whole, especially the drumming, keeps a breathless pace going from the start and never loses their way. The focus the performers bring to the song individually and as a whole is one of its most notable achievements.
Davidsen’s vocal is warm and full of fire. There isn’t ample opportunity for him to exhibit a variety of emotions due to the song’s subject matter, but he has a sure sense of dynamics and how to best realize the song’s dramatic potential. This is a song about rejoicing, despair stripped from its skeleton, and Davidsen does an excellent job embodying that emotion. It isn’t easy without ever overdoing it, but Davidsen has a steady hand for this sort of track and brings just the right amount of energy to the performance. “Out of the Blue” is, in a sense, a song out of the blue – there’s something absolutely irrepressible, front and center, about this performance. He is unabashed and the optimism bubbling off this song easily gets over with the listener. It’s one of the year’s best singles because it understands how to entertain its audience in the best possible way and because it’s undeniably real.