Review by Emily Smith
Lately, in the pop scene, musicians are adding a touch of distinctly old influences to their sound. For instance, elements of the 80s and 70s pop music have been incorporated into the works of many artists. Rock musicians, however, are striving for a more updated, eclectic sound and shying away from the elements of the 60s and 70s classic rock.
For those that wish to hear something that gives a nod to 60s psychedelic rock, the 5-piece Kentucky rock group Magnolia Boulevard has a new single out titled “Ride” that fully embraces that distinct 60s sound. The single also incorporates a mix of influences from elements of blues to a tinge of Southern rock.
The track kicks off with a playful guitar riff and keyboards that dance around it, which propels the overall vintage sound from the very beginning. The bass is also very groovy, and though it is mainly in the background, it adds to the upbeat vibe of the song. The lead singer also has an exceptional vocal prowess. Her vocals are bluesy, charismatic, and filled with feeling.
“The guitar riff has an interesting origin. Our guitarist and drummer first met on stage at a show that was thrown together at the last minute to fill in for a band that had to cancel. Few of the musicians had ever met. Once they finally got set up and ready, Todd looked at Gregg and said “play something.” What he played was that riff. Years later, when we started this band, that was the first thing we played,” comments Magnolia Boulevard.
This bright and sunny instrumentation matches the feel-good tone of the lyrics, which are all about living in the present and having the best time possible despite any obstacles. The song also conveys how love for one another turns any day into a good one: “Believe me when I say we ain’t got money/ But we make love, it’s worth a whole lot more/ Boy we got it made.”
The song also emphasizes how wonderful it is to focus on having fun and making connections in the present, even if the days ahead don’t look as great. This theme is especially prevalent in the chorus, as the lead vocalist sings, “You tell me that you’ve had your better days/ Tomorrow we might go our separate ways/ In the meantime, you can put me in your pocket and ride, ride, ride.” These themes of love, freedom, and happiness are reminiscent of the lyrical themes in a lot of music from the 60’s. The incorporation of these themes shows how the group really wears their influences on their sleeves.
What really makes this track stand out is the personality in the song. The group sounds like they are having fun recording the track, and that sense of fun and passion really translates in the song. For instance, we are blessed with two different solos (a keyboard solo and a guitar solo). The keyboard solo sounds like it could have come out of a song by The Doors and adds an unmistakable energy to the track. The guitar, meanwhile, cries out during its lively solo, and during a call-and-response pattern towards the closing of the track.
“Ride” is a stunning, nostalgic track that with inspiration from early rock music infused with a unique passion.
Follow Magnolia Boulevard