Soulful R&B titan Victor Pedro turns in a smooth spring single worth your time and attention in “Call Me, I Miss Ya!,” and it’s got critics talking from Nigeria all the way to New York this April – for good reason, I might add. While a lot of the melodic rappers that I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this year have shied away from ambient rhythm and the notion of incorporating non-dancehall influenced reggae tones into their sound, that’s exactly what Pedro does so excellently in “Call Me, I Miss Ya!”. Though it’s not the most urgent club track in history, it’s got the ability to get your heart racing sans intimidating tempo just the same.
Pedro was wearing his old school influences on his sleeve in 2014’s “Throwaway,” and if we measure what he’s doing in this track against the standard of that one, it’s impossible to deny just how much he’s expanded on the blueprint offered to us in his formative releases. He’s not drawing from the well of his predecessors at all in this song; actually, I think that he’s doing everything he can to blend textures together that are as far away from the historical harmonies of American R&B as possible here.
As previously mentioned, the ambient luminosity that washes over the grooves at the onset of “Call Me, I Miss Ya!” is a staple element in the make-up of this track, and personally I love what it does for Pedro’s sound as a whole. Rather than making the backing instrumental track the canvas for his colorful sonic strokes dispensed from behind the microphone, he’s using it as a spacey, surreal component that gives the lyrics most of their depth. We never feel like he’s being disingenuous with us here; the pain he sings of is clearly his own, and we feel every bit of the torment that he does through his vivid vocal descriptions and the melodies that join them.
The cerebral arrangement of these verses is what really makes this song the star of spring that I think it is in every listen that it’s afforded, and it further fashions the words all the more engaging, regardless of the environment in which we consume them. You don’t have to be nursing a broken heart to relate to the acrimony that Pedro is discussing in his playful poetry here, but for those who are currently waiting for their phone to light up with an incoming call from that missing person in their lives, it’s as close as any track can come to summarizing the ache of loneliness.
I’ve been following Victor Pedro for a minute now, and while I’ve never been disappointed by any of the music that he’s issued to the general public, what he’s dishing out in “Call Me, I Miss Ya!” is simply on a whole different level altogether. He’s so relaxed and engrained in the instrumentation in the song, but there’s never any need for us to slow the track down in order to understand its meaning from both a lyrical and an instrumental standpoint. The bottom line? This is a heavyweight single from a seriously skilled singer and songwriter, and it belongs on your stereo this month.
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