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“Another Way of Life” by Cristal Carrington

From an instrumental point of view, there’s a case to be made that the new single “Another Way of Life” from up and coming pop sensation Cristal Carrington is a little surreal for what it was probably designed to do, but given the present trend both in and outside of the American underground, it actually makes a lot of sense why Carrington would be taking more of a postmodern route with this latest release to bear her moniker in the byline.

There aren’t a lot of music critics who will say that the club-formatted music beat is hurting for organic talent, but nonetheless, I think there’s something really special about the performance this singer gives up that makes it feel as though an element of her sound – namely the unforced enthusiasm – has been mostly missing from the mainstream side of the spectrum lately. She’s got so much moxie and comes off as determined to put some spunk into an already vibrant groove, with little more than her own lead vocal mind you, and in embracing instrumental excess over lyrical indulgence, she proves herself to be one of the more deep-thinking players in her scene at the moment. 

Carrington rejects the very notion of minimalism protruding into her aesthetical approach in this track right from the jump with some seriously over the top synth fills that could warm up even the crummiest of stereo speakers, and while her peers have been reticent to produce anything so abrasive in their own work lately, that just can’t be said of this artist. She’s fearless in providing more attention to the texture of the percussion than she ever does the bassline, and I get why she wants to be a little swaggering here despite her limited presence in the mainstream press at the moment. She isn’t being arrogant about her abilities, but instead establishing the kind of respect she wants to get as a mad mind in the studio, and though her lead vocal could have used a bit more oomph in the chorus, I would say that the overall parameters of this track are sterling enough to warrant additional listens in the future. 

There’s still a lot of ground left out there for her to cover, but right now I think Cristal Carrington has had the kind of prolific recording year in 2020 that critics and fans need to be paying attention to the same. With a number of surging pop songwriters and performers gaining legit momentum as the year winds down to a close, the competitive edge is sharper than it’s ever been prior to this present moment in history, but I don’t think this is a player who we should be concerned about when it comes to keeping the pace. Sensual and melody-centric but still geared towards a club audience that is going to need some grown up grooves as soon as the COVID crisis has come to an end, Carrington’s sound is poised to breakthrough sooner than later, and that’s very obvious in this all-new single. 

Mindy McCall 

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