At first it sounds like Dan Rico is not quite sure what sound he wants to stick to in the electro pop song, “SHI.” At first. It just takes a little patience to stumble into Rico’s widespread, colorful canvas. Once you’re in, it’s hard to let go of the infectious chorus and mesmerizing musical measures. The upbeat track is a perfect combination of refreshing imagination with a little guitar riffs polishing off its top.
Rico, based in Chicago, does a lot between the lines in the danceable tune. “SHI” seems to reference his love, him being smitten with a new love and both of them being “too shy” when they are around each other. His voice is confident and boy next door-like (think Charlie Puth or Lauv), but a little shaky at the beginning of the song. I wasn’t sure if it was the production or the intention, but he has this echoing effect at the beginning, as if he was speaking in a megaphone. It felt a bit strange…but I quickly got over it as the song continued. Lyrically, the song really strives to stick with the “I don’t know why” and over and over you feel like the chorus just becomes part of your day.
Just as Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” and The Pet Shop Boys sewed together diamond-like, sparkling orchestrations, Rico seems to find that bridge between an 80s synth and modern-sounding pop song. What feels beautiful at times, with bursts of oranges and yellows, he mellows out with guitar riffs of blues and hues of purples. His vocals – again that confident clean-cut image – get sexy dress treatment with the guitar parts. It adds a dash of blues and a smidge of mystery.
Still, there’s no hidden meaning or agenda (from what I gather) about “SHI” other than to say it’s a modern love song. It’s cute, yet the layers Rico creates with sound and movement is fantastic. He seems to add in his sound ingredients from the world of Chicago music – lots of snyth, pop, some R&B, a bit of soul and lots of charisma. He does it with the instrumentation more so than his voice.
“SHI” has all the markings of a great radio song and I can imagine this song really being an excellent first dip into finding out about the young man’s discography. I tried to imagine this song live and I felt like it’s so polished and perfect the way it is, I wonder if Rico could create that pristine sound on the stage. Would he play to the track? Would he play the guitar? Would I want it to sound perfect or have some flaws? I hope on all of it – “SHI” really deserves the full live audience treatment. It seems like whatever direction Rico takes his music, the journey might not be exactly how we think it might go and he will throw us for a loop. I’m okay with that, and in fact, I welcome it.
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