Neil Nathan doesn’t need three-minute guitar solos, outrageous rap accents, nor a lot of instrumental or lyrical luster of any kind to sound like a real star in his new single “All Together;” as I see it, as long as he’s bringing his voice into this material, he’s going to step out of the booth with a certifiable standard in the soft pop genre he’s doing so much for at the moment. Nathan’s sound is personified in “All Together,” and though somewhat retro in presentation, his is a style that has arguably always been as iconic as the people who influenced it.
The gentle rhythm of the instruments in this single creates the atmosphere more than the actual harmonies do; the role of the latter is to colorize the words with a brilliant effervescence that isn’t commonly found in the mainstream anymore at all. Nathan is relaxed for the majority of this performance, and truth be told, I don’t know that he ever has to sound urgent to impart the emotional weight of a narrative unto us. He’s got a skill that lets him take it easy behind the mic, and that skill starts and ends with his golden pipes.
Lyrics are made to punctuate the melody rather than the other way around in “All Together,” which makes it easy to get hypnotized by the music and completely lose track of where Nathan is in his verses. He’s doing a lot to cultivate an immersive listening experience in both this song and the music video he made for it, but the truth is he didn’t have to go out of his way to make this a special listen – it was already there, from an aesthetical point of view especially. The tone is classical, and the structure is as familiar today as it was when it debuted among first-wave folk-rockers a couple of generations ago.
While the tempo brings to mind players like Cat Stevens, I think the unfanciful nature of the mix in general implies more of a kinship with the hipster fundamentalists of a modern era than it does anyone else for Neil Nathan the composer. As a songwriter, he’s got an experimental quality he isn’t outright utilizing here, but allowing to influence his direction from one line to the next. I want him to let it loose in his next release, or at least push it even further than he has for this fantastic new song.
He hasn’t had a lot of hiccups in his career thus far, but it’s worth saying that Neil Nathan has hit another homerun for the fans in “All Together” this September. The video debuted last month online and has already picked up some considerable streaming numbers, and given the DIY ethics this singer/songwriter has, his increased exposure is certainly talent-based. He’s earning the spotlight he’s coming to dominate so regularly in the underground right now, and anyone unconvinced of his abilities would really do well to spend some time with “All Together” this season.
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