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“Mother Tough” by GaREE

GaREE All is known for his gilded words, but in the new spoken word single titled “Mother Tough,” he shows that he can do a heck of a lot more than just present a pretty tune. The open verse isn’t the only point of catharsis for us to take in here; if anything, it’s one of the mellower available to us. Through gentle movements of instrumentation and a solid implied harmony that follows his voice wherever he might take us, GaREE All will lead listeners on a journey to the poetic mecca in “Mother Tough” that no one shall soon forget.

There’s not a lot of intensity to the rhythm of his spoken word here, but there’s an urgency to the execution nevertheless. All never pushes his band along; his words glide along in cadence with the grooves leaving just enough space between the distant parts in the music to have a distinct profile in the big picture. It’s a complicated way of making a spellbinding song even more hypnotic, but as anyone who loves GaREE All’s output is already well aware, there are no doing things the easy way when it comes to this guy’s work.

The narrative concepts here are undisputedly the most important element in “Mother Tough,” and to some degree, everything in the track is built around their steady flow. The low-end tones flex to the beat of the drum without ever masking over the percussive textures, and while I might have given the vocal just a little bit more volume at the start of the song, I can understand why All decided to go a different way. He wants to put tonality before tempered hooks here, which is something that requires a bit of courage on the part of a pop singer.

My favorite part of this single, bar-none, is the climax. All climbs his way into the center of the spotlight seemingly out of nowhere and belts out his verses as though his life depends on it, and though he’s never been one to shy away from the big moments like this one beforehand, there’s something all the more special about this particular fever pitch. It could be his admiration for women and mothers specifically, or it might just have something to do with the fact that he knows how to nail the performance he’s turning in here.

Though he isn’t telling us anything that we already didn’t know about his sound, identity, and artistry, GaREE All is putting on a show that no one can afford to miss out on this summer season in “Mother Tough,” which I view as the greatest standout from the last spat of works we’ve heard out of his scene. All has been one of the more important voices to come onto my radar as we get into this latter half of the year, and if anyone thought that his position in the revolution was about to change, this should act as a refresher of why he’s gained the status he has in recent times. For me, this is a memorable listen and music video period.

Mindy McCall



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