Dorian Paul’s “Shake It Around”
Good rhythm can do just about anything, including elicit emotions from depression to pure joy without the assistance of a melody. While it doesn’t quite get the point of leaving melodicism on the sidelines, Dorian Paul’s “Shake It Around” is a primary example of what I’m talking about, as the grooves it introduces to the audience are perhaps the most communicative point of the entire song. Paul has been in the music industry for over three decades, and in that time he’s learned that if you want to really get people excited about something, you’ve got to start by getting in sync with the groove of their hearts, which is exactly what he does here so brilliantly.
There’s nothing reserved about this singer’s attack, and as it relates to the rest of the instrumentation, his vocal has to be a little aggressive in order to make everything feel cohesive rather than formulaic. There’s nothing quite as cringe-worthy as a dance single that sounds overly robotic, as though it were running off of a computer algorithm, but luckily for us, there’s nothing of the kind in “Shake It Around.” Paul is sticking to natural elements, unlike too many of his modern peers.
I would love to see a companion video for this single sometime soon, and not exclusively to see what kind of a concept Dorian Paul would employ in such a venture. There’s an enthusiastic swing to this music that when paired with an equally potent slew of imagery could get our hearts racing even faster than they are in this conventional format, and though it doesn’t require a visual component to be a well-rounded release for this artist, I think that a lot of his fans would be more than happy to get something a little extra out of what could be his best content in years.
Dorian Paul never sacrifices a melody for the sake of making a lusty beat, and that’s proven beyond any reasonable doubt in “Shake It Around.” Instead of shelving the more colorful harmonies here for something just a little more black and white (and thus more palatable to the thrust of the percussion), he goes to the extremes and gives us a giant helping of flavor on every corner of the plate. That’s more than I can say about a lot of the other pop crossovers I’ve been listening to in the last couple of months, let alone those in the funk/gospel hybrid category.
I hadn’t been listening to Dorian Paul for a little while, but in “Shake It Around” he makes it pretty well known that he’s hitting the peak of his career right now – and everyone needs to be paying attention. This isn’t the sort of amateurishness that has become all too acceptable in many parts of the underground through the years; Paul’s sound is one born of a lifetime’s worth of stewardship in the arts, and while “Shake It Around” isn’t the only classic in his discography, it’s certainly become a new favorite of mine.