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“Save The World” by Jarvis Smith and Rita Morar

A chorus can make or break a lot of pop songs, but in the case of a multilayered composition like Jarvis Smith’s new single “Save The World,” the full-bodied music doesn’t rely as much on a signature hook when it comes to winning the hearts of listeners. Packing a highly melodic punch on both the instrumental vocal fronts, “Save The World” is as robust an afrobeat track as you’re likely to get your hands on this autumn. Single-threaded songcraft might have its place among some of the indie releases out at the moment, but for Smith and his collaborator Rita Morar, it never even enters the picture. 

Overall, the mixing in this track is pretty spot-on in terms of giving every component a special definition in the grander scheme of things. There’s been an unsettling spike in laziness in the production department for a lot of the pop units coming out of the international market lately, but from beginning to end, “Save The World” sounds like a song that has been painstakingly detailed behind and in front of the board with the specific purpose of making its every movement relatable to the audience. That’s the bread and butter of making good pop music, no matter what listener you’re targeting or what the subgenre happens to be. 

I will say that I would have liked just a little more focus on the backdrop than what it was ultimately afforded. This isn’t to say that the melodic instrumental parts are somehow missing the required zeal to leave a lasting impression on the audience here – they’ve got plenty of panache – but rather to note just how big an impact they could have had if given just a little more wiggle room in the big picture. It’s an excusable oversight at any rate, and not enough to make “Save The World” any less attractive from a cosmetic point of view; truth be told, nothing can stop the chemistry between Smith and Morar from ruling this performance. 

The percussion here is quite elegant and never overbearing, and when taking into account just how significant the role of the groove is in this track, there’s no dismissing the hard work that these two put into making the song as fluid as it is. Getting a good rhythm going isn’t as easy with this genre of music as it might appear to be on paper – it takes a nuanced finesse, and unless you’re willing to put in the serious labor like Morar and Smith are, you’re going to end up with something subpar every time. 

A striking combination of exotic and enduring genres that aren’t overthought or overstated in any way that matters, Jarvis Smith’s “Save The World” is a terrific addition to any easy-listening pop and afrobeat playlist this month. There’s an abundance of buzz surrounding the scene that this pair is making a name for themselves in lately, and while I don’t know the ins and outs of the pop underground any more than another industry onlooker or journalist does, I know enough to respect a heavyweight release when one comes across my desk. Neither Morar nor Smith are at their peak yet, but with the right guidance, they’ll find their mountaintop before you know it. 

Mindy McCall



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