“Be Yourself” (single) by Black Pool
Black Pool’s single release “Be Yourself” hits all the right notes. The mood of the piece isn’t necessarily joyful but instructive instead. Despite the lessons it imparts, however, there’s never a heavy handed moment throughout the performance. He may be just beginning his recording journey in earnest, but it is obvious listening to this three minute long gem that he has developed and refined his musical talents for some time before embarking on a recording career. His personal history supports this idea. Black Pool, the stage name for Max Lindberg, lived for some time in a wooden shack on the Nicaraguan coast. He established his musical identity during this time and, one can surmise, learned the value of the lessons heard in the song’s lyrics as well.
It isn’t a wordy song. Black Pool distills his message down to razor sharp lines shorn of any fat. It is fair to say few if any listeners will have a problem with the message of his song and it isn’t necessarily broaching new subject matter in the annals of popular song, but Black Pool nonetheless fashions his message in such a way that it feels and sounds like his own. He coaxes each line out with breathy delicacy, underplaying it in an artful way, and only intensifies his vocal treatment a little when the song reaches its chorus.
Guitar is the central musical instrument for carrying the song off and it has a sunny personality despite applying reverb effects to its sound. The reverb affects Black Pool’s vocal as well but never in adverse fashion. It, instead, imbues the song with atmospheric color that doesn’t dull the song’s effect on listeners but, rather, deepens it. Despite the essentially DIY aesthetic of Black Pool’s bedroom pop indie rock vibe, there’s a great deal of polish in the song’s sonic architecture and, in particular, it has a fantastic drum sound listeners will enjoy.
His singing brings a lot to table as well. The mellow approach he takes to delivering the song’s lyrics is confident without ever sounding strident. He ramps up his approach only slightly when hitting the chorus and the added stresses he brings to the refrain shows how much he has honed his skills. There is certainty throughout about what exactly the song needs and he has the talent to realize his ambitions. It all comes together quite well and listeners will be hard pressed to find any outright fault with a single aspect of his approach.
Black Pool will have many successes like this to come; he’s the proverbial real deal. This is an artist who has forged his own path in life and he will continue reaping the dividends from that for years to come. “Be Yourself” introduces him to newcomers in the best possible fashion and the EP to come will likely garner him much deserved attention. It’s an unique single with a timeless message and he realizes its potential on his own terms rather than pandering for the listener’s attention.