Adorned with exotic percussion, stylish sax, colorful keys and strings that cushion every word issued by the rich vocal harmony up top, the music video for Paul Helou & Friends’ “There Are Heroes (Stay Put Blues)” is filled with layer after layer of lush melodicism. The grooves are as high as tidal waves while the tonal elements that surround them convey an upbeat energy that has been tough to come by in pop music recently. Helou is determined to salvage what’s left of the summer with a swinging beat and swaying lyrics to match, and for my money, he nails it and then some.
Visually, there’s nothing particularly grand nor groundbreaking about the video for “There Are Heroes (Stay Put Blues),” but in some ways, that’s why I’ve taken to it as much as I have lately. The main source of the fun in this release is the music, and though that might seem like something that should be standard in contemporary pop videos, it’s hardly the case.
The melodies here are larger than life while the imagery is steeped in a plaintive minimalism, and when combined we wind up with something that embodies both the sonic indulgences of pop with the simplicity of straight-indie material.
Fans of soft pop from singer/songwriters with better things to do than dabble in the commerciality of the genre would do well to check out “There Are Heroes (Stay Put Blues)” is season, and I don’t think I’m going to be the only critic to tell you as much. “There Are Heroes” has all the trappings of retro easy-listening, but ironically enough, its message is perhaps what makes it a modern classic. These are self-aware times, and all things considered, there aren’t many artists using such a socially-conscious theme to get a much more multidimensional narrative across to their listeners.
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