New York City-based singer, songwriter, and pianist, Freddie Atlas, brings a hopeful and contemplative mood to the new single, “Vain.” The meandering piano melodies and wistful, symphonic washes and arrangements provide a sense of classicism with rather steady vocals. The music revolves around an absence of percussion, which highlights the vocal performances and new age piano. “Vain” opens with the sounds of rainfall and flowing water interrupted with a loud, but distant, thud. The rainfall is joined by a symphonic crescendo of new age delight that soars in and out of blissful resonance. The tone is somewhat dreamy and it reflects a hopeful sense of yearning. The symphonic piece wanes and a slow, pensive piano arrangement begin. Freddie’s slow, but achingly beautiful vocals take over, but they are not very pronounced. Instead, the vocals seem to match the instrumental accompaniment with ease. There are a few wispy, background vocals that accompany Freddie’s vocals in parts, but they are mainly indiscriminate. Mid-song, Freddie’s vocals attain a bit of a more up-tempo peak, along with some orchestral arrangements. The free-flowing piano melody is sparkling, meditative, and memorable. The piano melody continues for the last minute or so of the song, while some water sounds return, as in the beginning. Freddie Atlas seems to hit all the right chords here. The music starts slow and patient, but opens up a bit with some more up-tempo piano parts and orchestral washes of sound. Instrumentally, the song succeeds without fault. Vocally, Freddie has an innate ability to wrap his vocals around smooth and classical melodies with effortlessness. The pensive and calming, yet emotional vocals, are somewhat reminiscent of Paul Buchanan’s work with the instrumental down-beat and new age-isms of Craig Armstrong. At any rate, Freddie’s song is an excellent composition that elicits many emotions and feelings without tripping up.
Review by Matthew ForssRating: 5 stars (out of 5)