Luxurious as it overflows with emotions and revelations despite it not having one single vocal track. Capricious as it rattles your senses and pulls you in and out of musical loops hysterically influenced by a multitude of genres like Jazz, Latin, Greek, Folklore, Opera. That ladies and gents, is I Feel It Too by Keith Randall from Hershey, Pennsylvania.
“My first public performance as a musician was on a drumkit in front of my school in the 5th grade. I haven’t stopped performing since. While my heart has always been in creating original music, I’ve spent the majority of my life performing in cover bands, playing the songs that I was told people would want to sing and dance to. That was my job and I did it convincingly well. This last year I contracted the Covid-19 virus and I very nearly became one of the tragic statistics that permeated the news every day over the last couple of years. I had a dangerously high fever which lasted for over a week, passing between dream and reality, not always knowing which was which. Thankfully my Wife nursed me back to health. When the fog cleared I decided that I was done playing other people’s music. If I was going to continue to dedicate my life to music, it was going to be on my own terms, playing the music which I hear in my head each and every day. That week I began writing and tracking for “I Feel it Too.” I composed, recorded, mixed, mastered, and performed all of the tracks at School House Sound, the small studio I built in the converted one-room schoolhouse that my Wife and I purchased, located in the town of Annville, Pennsylvania.” We know. The man is qualified to be a writer too. Some people just have it all.
For the young lads and gals, bacchanal‘s top popular meaning signifies a wild and drunken celebration. Very much in hand with what the composer himself states, “Indulgence and excess. It is an ode to the bohemian lifestyle. Inspired by my love of classical music, orchestration, and the power of the modern rhythm section.” Even the mind behind the music thunders in all directions and pulls emotions from a diverse array of currents.
Bacchanal commences on a somber note. Far from what you might expect when reading what Keith has divulged. Is that acoustic guitar a metaphorical presence or the silence before the madness? 30 seconds in and you still don’t know what’s gonna hit you. A long suspense going against the core of today’s music market that is led by 6-second videos.
Of course. Neither nor. From second 33, only sheer happiness and positive thrills instead. It’s the 3rd way out. The creative one. The guitar merrily prolongs Bacchanal’s vibe into a sort of up-and-down, side-to-side vacillation. Until second 52 that is.
Now it’s all flittering drums and loud echoes superimposed in a large room. The new ensemble of instruments perpetuates the motif initiated by the guitar but with added grandeur and almost a tone of irony expressed unequivocally by the saxophone.
The next biggest change comes around 1:45. Now the song starts sounding complex and with an added note of gravitas. The saxophone sounds as loud as the drums and they very much go head to head fighting for the prime spot. The dance-off takes place at 02:45 with the guitar cheering on the fight between the two.
After another major twist at 2:23 one easily envisions Bacchanal as the soundtrack to a theatre play. Now it’s hungover time after the party. Or saying bye to your friends in the morning when you realize they’ve broken too many glass vases and spilled too much wine on your white carpet.
Keith chose to end this flagrantly singular song with the mid-motif succeeded by a curt guitar solo. The maestro either couldn’t decide on a mono direction or wanted to remind the audience of the duality present on the entire track: sophistication vs rebellion.
Bacchanal is one hell of an introduction for an EP, revering in rickety pauses and instrumental escalations while ending on both polar opposites of the displayed emotions.
2. Lovers In The Rain
That bass almost slithers to your ears and then SQUASH! gets cut by a noisy drum around second 10. Keith Randall must like horror movies because he applies some unexpected twists and turns ever since I Feel It Too, the EP, started. Thrillers at the very least.
Hum… How mighty curious! Lovers In The Rain is paving the way for its title. The groove between the drums and bass is a hot and heavy one with seductive rhythm and gripping force.
“Lovers in the Rain is my favorite composition on this record for several reasons. For one, I wrote it in the odd meter of 13/8 for no reason other than wanting to hear what a 13/8 time signature sounded like,” shares Keith Randall for Blue Rhymez Entertainment. Yes. We confirm. Only a bonafide artist jumps into novel compositions just for the mere curiosity of it. Thankfully, the man ensured an actual performance and not just a randomization of instruments and melodies.
The fun part, however, lies in discovering the real-life tangencies behind the record, “Once the beat was established, it reminded me very much of the Greek circle dances, Kalamatianos, that I used to see growing up with my mother’s side of the family. Greek music is often performed in 7/8 and the 13/8 meter I used.” We stan an educated musician who knows the whys and hows upon which his work is based. :star:
The melodic, flirtatious chase you feel surrounding you is undeniable, whimsical, and enchanting. The guitar sounds uncannily real as if hiding a human’s voice in its strums. It steadily gains acoustic breadth and it transcends from the auditory sense to the tactile one. And no, you can’t play guitar just because Keith Randall has you visualizing one.
Ah… What a majestic tandem coming in! The piano notes from minute 1 onward add a sudden depth of emotion, albeit a lighter one, to the overall language of Lovers In The Rain. The aggravating violin stuns with tremor in the background.
“This is my favorite composition off the EP. On the guitar, I tried my best to harness the passion and emotion that I feel when I listen to my favorite musical work, Adagio, the second movement of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. In working within the parameter of such a rigid time signature, I had to look beyond a singular measure to get the guitar to speak and I love the juxtaposition between the busy percussion and the spacious, expressive guitar. The violin provided by Sonya adds a fantastic textural compliment as well.” Keith Randall, if you ever get tired of doing music, we’ll hire you as a song reviewer 😀 Tooting one’s own horn is usually offputting. But you read what the man has to say about his music and you’re left feeling… like you need to study a lot more!
Lovers In The Rain is a beckoning track with hypnotizing appeal. The organic instrumentation renders the song a strong staple piece in the repertoire of Keith Randall.
3. I Feel It Too
The initial stomp-stomp effect is effortlessly crafted by the amalgamation between the acoustic guitar and drums. The playful yet melancholic note progression induces satisfying sadness. Think Billie Eilish: when you know it’s gonna be tough to listen to but it feels rewarding at the same damn time.
The passionate motif goes on until second 23 when the guitar decides to take on another path. That of a colder, more superior position to the “obedient” drums. How mind-blowing it is when you realize these feelings are evoked by a mere change of pitch and pauses while it’s the same song and same instrument? Fascinating. And considering what’s happening in the world at the moment, it’s worth paying attention to the miracle of humanity. To what the human brain is capable of perceiving and recreating.
“The title track of this EP more or less wrote itself. I was exploring different ways to fingerpick some pretty standard chords and within two hours the melody was written and a demo of the song – recorded. Walking around the house later that evening, with all of it still fresh in my mind, I “heard” the phrase “I Feel it Too” in the song’s melody and thus the title. This is the only track that does not feature a contribution from my wife. I had already loaded her with orchestrations for the EP so I decided to give her a break. In lieu of saxophone or violin, I added an organ track to the accompaniment of the song, further adding to the smooth-jazz sounding B-Section of the song,” shares Keith Randall exclusively for Blue Rhymez Entertainment. You see, Keith is a problem for any writer or journalist because he says so much but it’s all valuable and we can’t cut out anything 😀
I Feel It Too, surprisingly, is the most acoustically stable song. Surprisingly because it has the responsibility of potentially being the top attention grabber of the 5 as it carries the title of the project and yet it’s the most laid-back and linear instrumental. Don’t get us wrong, we love the song but this approach of giving the public a break on the very record that is supposed to be the leading melody is highly unusual. It’s the shortest thus far as well. 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Sonya Randall’s break turned out to be the public’s break too. Maybe that’s why we perceive all the engulfing melancholy and absence of shock factor when compared to the first two works. It must be real love <3
“Avalon is a boujee song. It has sass and the unapologetic strut of youth. My family vacations in Avalon, New Jersey, and Sonya and I try to visit them when the opportunity arises. This song brings to mind those warm, summer ocean breezes. And of all of the elements in this song, the counterpoint between Sonya’s alto sax and her violin is my favorite aspect. I very much look forward to exploring this sort of play between instruments in future compositions.”
Well, boujee it sounds indeed. The opening sequence lands beautifully and imposingly. With harsh drums that ooze Rock music tones Avalon instead, as per Keith Randall’s mannerism, goes suave Hawaii on you. Those guitar notes confirm the aestival influence and bring about the smell of wet surfboards.
As we were wondering about the missing sass, it came around second 42 with gravitas worthy of a toreador’s red muleta. Oh yes, this is getting heavy Latin music vibes. The classic one, not the tattoo-faced version.
Despite its somberness and cool factor, the violin turns out to be hugely influential and warms the dynamic of Avalon. With almost arrogant ease the mix between the alto sax and violin around the midsection pushes for more: more room, more sound, more color, more reverb.
The shock factor is back in! We hear some eery church bells around minute 2. The bells act as ending pillars that serve the grand finale on a velvet tray.
When it comes to analyzing the composing style of Keith Randall, it’s easily deducted just how implacable the musician acts. From alto saxophone, warm violins, seductive guitars, and ominous bells, the 4th song off I Feel It Too embodies the definition of a musical shapeshifter.
5. The Hook-Up
For the outro, we get The Hook-Up, the 5th and final song. You will agree that the song feels, as a matter of fact, conclusive. It is palpably rushed in tempo similarly to credit rolls at the end of a movie. When confronted with the previous tracks, it adopts a laid-back flow and shines through its commercially-leaning pattern.
The experimental, non-conformist methods of Keith Randall don’t go unobserved on the final composition. The composer indulges in some serious melancholic tunes around the second minute thus flipping the script and making the credit roll slow down and point instead to feelings of the past. You may not know what Keith was being nostalgic about but you know it has a heavy good-bye tint to it.
The Jazz influence is felt, rightfully so, through the golden instrument. Yes, the one and only, the saxophone. It is finely woven onto the primary bedrock of the song and it benefits of an essentially permanent appearance. The unmistakable instrument elevates the luxurious tone of the music and helps anchor the audience in an earworm-like component. We don’t have a blatant hook but we got the comforting sax.
The mix and master on The Hook-Up are of prime quality with each instrument glistening through the complete picture. The saxophone is especially demanding switching places with the acoustic guitar remarkably empowering one another.
The impressive length of 5 minutes and 32 seconds is hardly ever felt. The ability to delude the public as to maintain their attention for much longer than perceived, is by rule, the work of a master. Or in this case, it’s I Feel It Too by Keith Randall.
Summarizing the experience of consuming Keith Randall’s EP, I Feel It Too is the work of considerable effort of an artist who’s hit that turning point in life where the love for creating original work overtook the commodity of continuing the same repeating cycle. Featuring compositions as restless as the reckless hunger of the musician for mixing genres, the project entertains and beckons those upholding organic instrumentation over the incessant TikTok-formatted mini hits.
EP Credits: Keith Randall – Composer, Music Producer, Sound Engineer, Instrumentalist, comprising guitars, bass, keyboards, drum programming; Sonya Randall – Alto Saxophone and Violin Player.
Written by Mariana Berdianu
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