CAP – “Official” by Shannon Cowden
Cap has set the bar high for his 2018 with the release of his single “Official” and listeners should consider it a harbinger of Cap’s upcoming fifth solo album Scorpio. He’s appeared on the Bones Thugs and Harmony tour album, numerous music videos in heavy MTV rotation, produced his own albums as well as others from independent artists of various stripes, and has positioned himself to experience considerable success in the business side of music affairs as well. He’s accumulated plenty of life experience to fuel his musical art thanks to a brief sojourn serving his country overseas, but his burning love for music abided despite any path he took and it’s apparent hearing this and other songs that he’s found his path at last. “Official” and similar work from his recent history promises he’s only getting better with each new recording.
The finesse and deep soulfulness driving this piece never lets up, but it never lays too heavy a hand on listeners as well. Much of it comes from the instrumental presentation Cap offers up that’s, much of the time, nothing else than five star soul music. The guitar playing for this song is an undoubted highlight and weaves through the three minutes and change running time, but the percussion he uses is particularly effective while obeying the same penchant for avoiding overstatement that’s characterized other aspects of the song. Cap brings a veteran’s point of view to the performance and songwriting alike that’s easy to admire from the first. You can hear that veteran attitude coming through in the way “Official”’’s various elements tie up and how he leaves no untidy loose ends for fans. Instead, there’s an unified effect you’ll experience listening to this song likely exceeding your expectations about the genre’s capabilities circa 2018.
His lyrics are, likewise, charged with effort you don’t customarily hear from the genre’s performers. Cap has an individual approach to his music that bleeds over into his lyrical content and, while it has a recognizable form and message, Cap turns phrases with an idiosyncratic flair quite unlike what we hear from his contemporaries and peers. That’s the secret to a lot of music – much has been done, there’s not a lot new under the sun, so young and old performers alike need to bring something of themselves to what they do and have the capacity for selling themselves without ever cheapening themselves. It’s a tightrope to walk, but Cap does so with tremendous aplomb. “Official” comes across with loose confidence and skill for every bit of its running time and never strikes a false note either vocally or musically. Instead, it has the sort of effortlessness we associate with the greatest acts and the live affect of the recording will do much to win over listeners. Cap’s “Official”, as a track standing on its own or slated for inclusion on his next album, is one of the finest tracks in a pop vein you’ll hear this year.
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