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“Love Language” by Andon  

A pulsating but distant guitar. Synthetic percussive thrusts push us to the edge of our seats every time they pounce on the velvet-voiced vocal of Andon. A bassline as thick as blood, contained by an organic harmony derived as much from the echo of the strings as it is the soothing nature of the serenade.   This is “Love Language,” a pop/soul/R&B hybridity and the new single from Andon, a rising star in the underground who at this stage of the game is looking to make a big impact on his scene this year. If this young talent aimed to provide us a picture window into the songcraft that he espouses as his own, then he hit his mark and then some with this single.

“Love Language” is angular, demanding material that requires a lot out of its players, and with the assistance of a well-cast group of session musicians and a delicate hand behind the master mix, Andon gives up one of the most complicated and accessible singles of the season thus far.   The vocal track here is really strong, but it’s not the centerpiece of this composition. Through the balanced arrangement of the instruments, every element gets a moment in the spotlight; the guitars dish out plenty of sparkling pop hooks fueled by a club-caliber bassline giving us a stinging outro, and though they’re not quite as loud in the master mix as some of the other components are, the drums are a consistent source of provocative energy.  

It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that this guy hasn’t broken through to the mainstream thus far when I listen to “Love Language,” because while genre contemporaries are finding it increasingly difficult to come out from behind the riddles and nonsensical metaphors contained in their verse, Andon is demonstrating an ability to always be forthright, vulnerable and open with us in this song.

He’s got nothing to hide from his audience, and even when the instrumental might is bearing down on him with the intensity of a stampede, he never sounds anything but confident.   “Love Language” is top-notch material that has got me very interested in seeing where Andon takes this sound in future records. Whether he goes all-in on R&B, pop, soul, or full-time instrumental arranging and producing, I think it’s going to be important for him to commit to one sound over another in the next few years. Pop music has got enough multi-hyphens these days – what the world needs now more than ever before is a singular voice, a cohesive melodicism if you will, to follow into the next decade without wondering when the creative wheels are going to come off.  

The potential that Andon brings with him to the table makes him an ideal candidate to fill this role, and with a bit more discipline and some time to focus on the type of chills he wants to generate in-studio, I think he could become one of the more credible singer/songwriters to emerge from his scene in this period.

Mindy McCall    



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