A product of the New York suburbs, Joseph Eid‘s unique blend of poetic and musical vision defies categorization or easy labels. It is lazy to deem his latest single “Listening to Madonna” as folk pop, folk, singer/songwriter fare, or any of the other dozen definitions pundits with good intention might attempt foisting on his work. It is better to just appreciate it as musical art and leave it at that; his journey into musical renown deserves nothing less. A few years and several thousand miles into his musical career finds Eid writing and creating the same effervescent and sincere songs defining his previous releases. He pursues his artistic muse from an early age without familial encouragement and makes an attempt to tailor his life according to others expectations, but the clarion call of his heart leads him to abandon his pre-med and psychiatric studies, drop out of college, move to New York City and eventually Los Angeles pursuing his musical ambitions.
It is an astute choice. His bright voice, brimming with knowing winks and affability, is the undisputable core of what makes “Listening to Madonna” such an enjoyable experience. He has confident phrasing, a good ear for complementing the arrangement rather than working against it, and delivers his lyrics with the right amount of emotion. He never comes off as overwrought. Instead, Eid communicates certainty with each line and steers listeners through a jaunty yet substantive arrangement. Both the lyrics and music alike focus on conveying narrative and physically engaging the audience with its understated bounce.
Sparkling acoustic guitar and a light percussive touch anchors the music. The song percolates with energy throughout its four minutes forty three seconds without experiencing any lulls, lapses, or regrettable self indulgence. Eid’s experience playing for live crowds and refining his songwriting over the past few years shapes him into a songwriting shining with polish, but never striking a false note. The payoff line for the song will make all but the hardest hearts smile and both his vocal and the playing alike communicate a clear joy for the act of performance and connecting with listeners.
The narrative behind the song will capture the attention of many. It is a throwback song in a way, Eid casting a glance over his shoulder towards carefree days of youth, but any hint of melancholy is absent. So is nostalgia – this is a celebratory cut with a playful edge that opens listener’s hearts. “Listening to Madonna” moves through time, however, and Eid isn’t writing from the point of view of a young man but, instead, an insightful older man who notes the passage of time free from regret and grateful for experience.
The song’s accompanying video is an excellent companion piece and has a visual flair viewers will appreciate. It reinforces the aforementioned emotions many experience hearing the song alone – Eid wants to bring listeners into his life experience for a few minutes and you are happy to take the trip. There is more to come from this prodigiously talented songwriter – everything about “Listening to Madonna” signals Eid is a songwriter scratching the surface of his immense gifts.
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