Stromer Hills Drops New Single
Label Stromer Hills at your peril. You can slap any term on his music you like, pop, modern R&B, whatever, and it won’t define what he does in his new single “if u like the way i walk”. The latest in a string of successful singles for the Canadian-born singer/songwriter/rapper, “if u like the way i walk” is certain to up his almost half a million plays and counting on SoundCloud, but his reach is global. It’s a song that cuts across every conceivable divide and leans on melody and soul far more than anything else.
The production, however, is outstanding. Listeners feel like they are in the steady hands of a major league talent from the outset and the song’s continuing glide through the singing, his lyrics, and the overall unity of the listening experience. Each individual part plays off the other rather than the song coming off as an assortment of ideas jammed together in the hopes of creating something larger. Stromer Hills, instead, sounds like he began the recording process for the single certain of what he wanted.
You hear some of Hills’ rap skills during the song. He prefers a different approach, however, deriving much of its sound and spirit from soul/R&B. Hills blends soul, rap, and R&B together with such a sensitive touch that the song’s appeal will be immediate for man. The song’s pre-chorus and chorus are undisputed high points but don’t underestimate the verses. Hills has crafted sleek yet natural sounding “vehicles” for conveying us to the payoff and they don’t suffer for significance. The song’s bridge is especially clever and does an excellent job setting you up for a final recapitulation.
This isn’t songwriting intent on remaking the wheel or grappling with mighty themes. Stromer Hills, however, can’t be dismissed as pure pop fare. “if u like the way i walk” does more than depict the eternal dance between potential partners, it’s a song about searching for a connection, however brief, and dealing with all the baggage that comes with our searching. Hills’ genius is framing it in a way that virtually everyone can relate to.
The production occasionally double-tracks Hills’ vocals, but it isn’t necessary. Hills has an underrated edge in his voice that you’ll hear in some lines, a sort of surprising “lived-in”, bluesy quality. It’s well-suited for the song’s soul and R&B pedigree. He’s more than able to carry the song without any emphasis added, but the extra touches don’t mar the cut in any measurable way.
His string of success shows no signs of coming to an end. Some of these singles are, obviously, more successful than others and there’s every reason to believe “if you like the way i walk” will rank among Stromer Hills’ most popular efforts to date. It should be further noted that this song would translate over to the stage without much, if any, altering and begs for a live performance that truly highlights his voice. It’s one of Stromer Hills’ finest singles yet.
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Great review. Don’t you think it has some country elements?