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“I Can See Clearly Now” Lyric/Video by The Side Deal

Proving their love of great music rests in the songs they grew up listening to, and more, the band The Side Deal have an affinity for making something old sound new. The song “I Can See Clearly Now” first hit the airwaves in the original 1972 Johnny Nash version. Fast forward almost 50 years later, and The Side Deal bring the song back to the mainstream.

The Side Deal, comprised of former members of Train and Sugar Ray, and current member of the duo, PawnShop Kings, bring to the surface a blistering version of “I Can See Clearly Now” compared to the Nash version, plus the 1993 Jimmy Cliff version from the Disney movie, Cool Runnings, the quartet tranquility is surrendered punk, funk and country rock. In the style of what you might imagine the sound of Sugar Ray and Train melting together, along with a coloring of country rock, The Side Deal time warp the 70s sound and splice in 2020.

The Side Deal is Grammy-winning bassist and founding member of Train, Charlie Colin, drummer and Sugar Ray co-founder, Stan Frazier, PawnShop Kings’ guitarists and brothers, Joel and Scott Owen. They are based in Newport Beach, California, also the musical hotbed home to Burnout Reef, DJ Steve Aoki, Anton Newcombe and The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs. The music, the artists, all shine bright from this imaginative cove near Laguna Beach and Dana Point; their sound is a hybrid of the Beach Boys, The Byrds and even Sugar Ray.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way, gone are the dark clouds that had me blind, it’s going to be a bright, sun shiny day, it’s going to be a bright, bright sun shiny day are some of the powerful lyrics. Interestingly, The Side Deal put together a lyric video. I had to smile, because sometimes it’s a stretch to understand what bands are actually saying. Hearing and not having to rely on a lyric sheet was quite lovely. Still, the lyric video is a charming example of people from all corners of the Earth collaborating – sending in video of them singing along, or edited-in video of past sporting events and stunning landscapes. The band dedicated their lyric video to the frontline workers, and all the folks that are keeping the world safe during the pandemic.

While the words ring true, even in the year 2020, the band’s music bed is just as inspirational. Before the song bridge, the instrumentation is sort of one-on-one. The bass work pea cocks, before the guitars saunter into the picture. The percussion/drums stays pretty subtle, swishing in-and-out before the bridge. One the song bridge clocks, the reverb gets a bit heavier, but not enough to melt faces. Let’s just say it’s a slow melt. The Side Deal harness their unique blend of California love and interpret for modern listeners a timeless tune. The Side Deal remind us all once again it’s going to be a bright, sun shiny day.

Mindy McCall



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