Pop music doesn’t always come to us with the most striking of messages, but that’s not the case in the profound work of Vineet, whose last record Nine. (9 Thrilling Stories. 9 Optimistic Songs) set us up for a new single in “Elevate” centering on his devotion to conceptualism, and a celebration of what sonic muscularity can produce in the right setting. Vineet’s funky cocktail of hooky rhythms, empowering rhymes, and classic harmonies is laced with an emotionality that is hard to come by anywhere in pop these days, and it makes for one of the most intriguing songs I’ve heard this summer in “Elevate.” You don’t have to be the biggest pop fan in the world to dig these beats, which are the smoothest you’ll discover on Vineet’s latest trip to the studio.
The electronic elements in this single are a lot more subtle than the hard pop influences are, but to be fair, this isn’t the easiest track to categorize in terms of genre. Other than the overtly surreal imagery that the lyrics contain, there’s nothing here to tether “Elevate” to the experimental pop scene over something a bit more urbane and perhaps even hip-hop influenced. Vineet makes it possible for us to embrace the grooves that he throws down in this track in addition to the inspired words that he so carefully discharges, and that could be part of the reason why his message is all the more palatable in this setting. He doesn’t have to oversell the theme with his singing; it’s present in almost every component of the song.
Lyrically speaking, “Elevate” is a lot sharper than the status quo in American pop music has called for in some time. It’s a nice change of pace from the super-politicized fodder that some of Vineet’s mainstream contemporaries have been releasing in 2023, which, as I see it, goes against the very aesthetics from which pop music was created. Vineet doesn’t have time to play the typical pop games with us in this single; if anything, he goes out of his way to be as concise as he can, leaving all the more room for the grooves to work their magic and cast an unbreakable spell over anyone who happens to be within earshot of their luster.
Vineet has still got some room for compositional growth, but considering that this is yet another hit release in his catalog, I think that he couldn’t have done a much better job of again reintroducing himself to a world that is hungry for a different strain of pop. “Elevate” is a very inviting song that doesn’t repel listeners with a lot of excessive virtuosities. It’s a stripped-down, back-to-basics sort of single that makes us want to dance as much as it makes us want to connect with the substance behind Vineet’s blunt narrative. He’s got my stamp of approval for sure, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops this sound further in the next couple of years.
Regardless of how you look at it, this is a great transition point for his budding career.
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