REVIEW BY ANDRE AVANESSIAN
With its rich folk flavors, subtle hints of country, and soulful textures, Spartacus Jones's powerful "Still Free" is a wonderful blend of styles that boasts both a profound sense of depth and a great deal of emotional weight, resulting in a listening experience that feels wholesome, empowering, and perhaps most importantly of all, inspiring. Wonderfully performed and passionately written, "Still Free" serves as a meaningful piece of songwriting that clearly comes straight from the heart, and with its graceful vocal performances, beautifully phrased melodies, and calming demeanor, I'm sure it will resonate with many a music enthusiast.
The lyrical content of "Still Free" is a tapestry of metaphors and allegories that dive into themes of freedom, self-discovery, and resilience. Spartacus Jones has always been able to capture a great sense of raw emotion and life experience in his lyrics, allowing them to feel not only relatable but absorbing in a way that forces us to reflect on our own experiences. The dynamic contrast in "Still Free" is crucial in conveying the song's emotional journey. Soft, introspective verses contrast with soaring, impassioned choruses, mirroring the ebb and flow of emotions in life. The phrasing of the vocals follows the natural cadence of speech, fostering a sense of intimacy and relatability, as if the singer is telling a personal story to a close friend.
The diverse instrumentation is excellent and serves as a key factor in crafting the song's distinct character. Traditional acoustic instruments are carefully chosen to create a balanced timbral palette. The acoustic guitar forms the core, providing rhythmic and harmonic support and an undeniably folky sound, whilst the piano adds a tonally open, balladesque quality. The interesting addition of sax gives the track a distinct jazz flavor whilst the backing vocals and organ infuse the writing with a soul-infused gospel quality. These timbrally diverse elements help to not only enrich the narrative of the track but add a number of warmly textured layers to the overall soundscape.
"Still Free" is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of soulful folk songwriting.
About The Reviewer:
Andre Avanessian is a freelance session guitarist, composer, and sound engineer based in the U.K.