David Sparks just proved us again exactly why we awarded him The R&B Artist Of The Year. In his lead single titled Dark Side that matches the EP with the same name, David Sparks reunited with Cakalaky G and forged a record that pushes the very limits of genre stipulations, with the music boasting R&B technicality while the vocals overflow with Soul power. The lyrical theme of Dark Side is centralized around “the mental anguish and emotional distress we’re suffering as humanity in this day and age”, as per David Sparks’ own admission.
Let’s mention off the bat that David Sparks’ music and visuals are becoming increasingly ambitious. He does not sound like an independent artist at all. The man sounds like he’s got an entire squad taking care of his production and post-production process. He’s the real deal.
And if we speak of the visual part, just take a look at the above link of the official music video for Dark Side. David took us by surprise, showing off his acting skills in this one. And Cakalaky G equally stepped up his stage presence and immersed himself completely into the visual narrative. We’ll leave the rest for you to discover on your own by replaying the video.
Dark Side commences its illustriousness with long, airy stereo synths that are held in the middle by the distant acoustic guitar. The simplistic construct is a risky choice for the intro part of a song. It will either go epic or fail miserably. Let’s see what David does. “Lost and cold/ Trapped inside my mind/ Choked by love/ Drowning in sorrow” – sings Sparks with his unmistakable voice. So far, he’s emulating the linear guitar cadence. “I can feel your heart and soul on fire/ Love will make you see through liars/ Once you have fallen and living on the dark side/ Living on the dark side” – now we’re realizing that with each passing second the song is changing sonorously. The R&B artist is almost shouting “love will make you see through liars” only to switch it up once more and revert the next lines to a sweet tonality right before the chorus comes along. David Sparks knows how to command even the most minimalistic music. We big like that.
And then… it explodes! “Can you hear me screaming?/ Can you see it raining?/ Dripping down upon my head”. Now we understand the purpose of that minimalistic musical construct! It served as the bedrock to the later vocal apex of legendary proportions by David Sparks. The way he’s transposing words into emotions is awe-inspiring. The first time we heard the song, our editor cried. The intentionally amplified sentimental value matches the booming voice of the artist and you can’t possibly be human and not be moved by this organic, unalloyed, sublime rendition.
“Up and down going ’round/ ‘Cause there’s nothing what it seems/ When you’re trapped in love from the other side/ Living on the dark side” – if you want to stop the song right here and turn around, we get it. This is hard to stomach. This is pain on music. But if you are strong enough to listen to the record without letting it consume you, it is an essence-penetrating experience to just devour David Sparks’ voice, musicality, and perceptible soul.
Cakalaky G tones the emotional agony down with a modern approach to slow rap while abiding the same dark, twisted, mental anguish: “No soul, no heart/ Graveyard walking with the dead/ Life so cloudy so dark/ Can’t get these thoughts out my head/ Evil gon’ follow no you can’t hide/ Black wings no angel look death in the eyes/ Sacrifice ritual riddles and rhymes/ Fighting these demons for spirit and mind” If there’s a positive thing that consumers can take out of this grim narrative, is that you’re not alone. Many people avoid discussing their deepest, darkest thoughts, and tend to sink even further in without anyone’s notice. That’s where records like Dark Side can and are, as a matter of fact, useful. When you listen to these scary confessions and you come from a similar place yourself, it shows you are not alone in your suffering. As they say: “A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.” Cakalaky G takes it all the way to… the dark side before ending his verse: “I said a prayer pray it steer me from evil/ We from the dark can’t run from reaper” On a lighter note, we are all going to the other side sooner or later 😀
David Sparks and Cakalaky G went from having us feeling romantic and in love to reminding us there are people fighting their own inner, hidden demons on a daily basis without our knowledge on their latest collaborative effort, Dark Side. And as it usually happens with sad records, listeners won’t fess up to enjoying it, but we are here to tell you David, you’ve yet again created a masterpiece that will serve your legacy as an artist for decades to come.
Song Credits: David Sparks – Songwriter, Producer; Brian Reeves – Sound Engineer, Quavis Morgan (Cakalaky G) – Songwriter.
Make sure you add Dark Side on Amazon HERE, and on Spotify below:
Review by Mariana Berdianu
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