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“Own the Night” (single) by Toox (feat. Rose Cuture and Daimen Carter)

It’s even harder than it seems to stand out in a competitive music world. Despite what we hear and read about living in diminished times for musical invention, there is ample talent rife throughout the modern musical world and making your voice stand out above the general fray poses more challenges with each passing year. Not all artists can answer the call. Many fall into imitating the flavor of the moment hoping to curry some significant degree of commercial favor; the path of least resistance is always a popular road to travel. Other musical artists, however, are far from content pursuing such ends and their irrepressible need to express themselves shapes their recorded output in meaningful and distinctive ways. The single from young artist Toox, featuring guest contributions from vocalists Rose Culture and Daimen Carter, is entertaining and substantive musical art standing out from the pack. 

Produced by Michael DeBarge, Chey de Los, and Juicegotkeys and recorded at New York City’s The Music Building, the single “Own the Night” has all the rousing qualities you would associate with youth and grabbing life by the collar, but it’s never strident. The musical arrangement for this track is stylish from its first to last note. It naturally has electronic instrumentation working throughout the track, common for this genre, but there’s never any sort of sterile quality certain to disappoint listeners; Instead, the musical character of the track is warm and physically engaging throughout. This is a cut written, performed, and recorded with modern audiences in mind. 

Each of the vocalists stand out for different reasons. The interplay between Carter and Culture is noteworthy for how well their respective voices mesh together; Culture has been noted, more often than note, for her talents as a rapper, but she proves to be an all around adept vocalist with her performance here. Carter’s presence during the performance is less omnipresent because he devotes so much of his effort towards contributing to the track rather than allowing his individual talents to stand out, but he deserves praise rather than condemnation for that. 

It’s Toox’s track, however, and his effort is highlighted above all others. He doesn’t disappoint. Toox bobs and weaves his way through the lyric with a confidence level born from his innate skill with the form and never makes a single misstep over the three minutes and changes comprising this track. The lyrical content doesn’t necessarily remake the songwriting wheel  which makes what Toox accomplishes all the more impressive; this is where the rubber meets the proverbial road as Toox makes the words for this track ring out with a surprising level of freshness. It’s just another of the assortment of superb qualities that go into making Toox’s collaboration with Daimen Cater and Rose Culture one of the more invigorating listening experiences we’ve yet to hear in 2020. The level of polish present in this performance is more than enough to compel all but the most cynical music fan to keep coming back long after the final notes of this single fade from the consciousness.

Mindy McCall

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