By One Small Life
There are two songs on their debut single, lead track Factor 8 and additional song Spinning. With all records, there is always a song that you prefer over another. If the band has got it right, the best track leads and any subsequent material attempts to keep up the inertia.
One Small Life have got it all wrong, what are they doing?
Within the first 30 seconds I dislike Factor 8, an opinion that continues for the remaining minutes and on repeated listening. The vocal production is far too tinny and the song does not suit the singer at all, often becoming whiny and strained. The track sounds like it is constructed specifically for the popular nu-metal/pop-rock genre. Perhaps a matter of taste, but hey, it's my review.
Track 2, Spinning is much better rhythmically, lyrically and musically - without a doubt, this should have been the lead track. It is a piano led ballad, where the vocalist is on fine form with falsetto, vocal swoops and extended vibrato that Thom Yorke would be proud of. With a simple but effective chord sequence, the closing minute brings truly impressive harmonies, moments of which show the fluency of Aha's Morten Harket. And you want to play it again, almost immediately. If I heard this on the radio, I would buy it and recommend that my friends do the same.
Unfortunately for One Small Life, some professional bodies might listen to the first minute of track one and then throw it away - this is how it works. Trying too hard to be "up front guitar driven pop for the masses", they need to stop pandering to the petty whims of music industry fashion and be proud of the material that shows their genuine talent.
* For the second song only, 4/5