Chris Mardini’s highly-anticipated debut single, “Retrospective Outlook” is here


September has always been a historically good month for new music, but this year it feels particularly special for some reason. It could be that we’re near the end of the 2010s, or perhaps that there has been such a rampant influx of exciting new styles and sounds coming out of the North American underground this season culminating in a string of fresh releases from artists like Chris Mardini this coming September. Mardini’s highly-anticipated debut single, “Retrospective Outlook,” is likely going to take the last month of summer by storm thanks to its outlandishly flamboyant grooves, powerful lyrical confessions and crisp mastering (renowned producer Marc Swersky steps into the booth to lend a helping hand). There’s a lot of splendid music getting ready to replace the current tunes dominating the charts as we look towards 2020, but out of everything that I’ve listened to this past month, there aren’t many songs that can top the blistering beats of this engrossing new track from Chris Mardini.


Don’t let the cosmetics of “Retrospective Outlook” fool you – this single is structured on top of a traditional rock n’ roll framework, but it’s designed to be a lot more flexible than any of the music that it’s modeled after ever could be. The guitars are manipulating a stock melody into something that is evocative and even a little jarring every now and again, and even though they never steal the show away from the vocal, this would be a completely different track without their primeval pulverizations.

The term alternative rockhasn’t seemed all that applicable to any of the mainstream music that’s been made in the last ten years, but Chris Mardini has recorded something that might actually qualify in “Retrospective Outlook.” There’s nothing standard about its conceptual foundation, and when we compare it side by side with some of the other rock songs that have garnered similar buzz in 2019, there’s no hiding the obvious indie aesthetics that this track wears with pride. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the EP that this will eventually end up on, but in the meantime, these harmonies definitely make up a sufficient soundtrack for any sunny September afternoon.


Chris Mardini has the chops to do just about anything he sets his mind to, and if he chooses to pursue this career in rock n’ roll any further than he already has, then he’s going to need a lot more material of this pedigree in his discography. There haven’t been many rock singers with as strong a voice as his is in the last couple of years, and frankly I think that the genre could really use someone with his liberal level of emotionality at the moment. “Retrospective Outlook” has a modern look and feel to the very bones it was made with, and if there’s anything that it teaches us about Mardini’s artistic profile, it’s that this is a musician who isn’t hung up on trying to please the masses with a stereotypical sonic assault. He’s as determined to make physical, contemporary pop music as he is to reintroduce American rock fans to the soul that made the genre so great in the first place.

Michael Rand

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