MUSIC REVIEW | Radical Son – Cause ‘N Affect (2014)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “I have to remind myself about how amazing RnB can be when it’s sincere and stripped back.  Radical Son is one of those reminders.”

Radical 1
A main reason for starting this blog was to listen to more new, and more wide ranging music.  I had spent a solid 15 years relying so much on the same bands, albums, and even specific songs that had filled my teenaged years, that my listening was just way too narrow.  Even now, listening to literally hundreds of new (to me) albums every year, I still feel like my purview is a little narrow.  A lot of mainstream classics that I‘ve been late to, and pop culture moments of the day dictate what I listen to.  I don’t take a chance on enough indie, out of the mainstream, sub culture, completely unknown to me acts.  Which is something I’m trying to remedy, starting with Radical Son and Cause ‘N Affect.

Reggae so laid back it borders on dub, Human Behaviour is the kind of song that hits big by playing things so small.  The swaying horns, relaxed vocals and dream-like drum and bass all say so much without ever having to shout anything.  The beats get bigger and the samples get scratched on the hip hop infused Do the Right Thing.  But Radical Son isn’t here to spit rhymes, he’s here to deliver RnB smooth.

It’s slow jam time on One Dream with Radical Son’s croon proving more than up to the job of carrying the kind of song where minimal instrumentation puts all the weight on the vocalist’s shoulders.  The soulful, gospel-like backing vocals of Emma Donovan and Deline Briscoe don’t hurt either.

Ooweee is Radical Son pushing those genre boundaries further than anywhere else on Cause ‘N Affect.  The most electronic in sound, with a driving, chant like refrain, it brings traditional and modern together in a way that makes both sound better.

From the reggae and hip hop of Rock On, to more RnB smoothness on This Could Be, Cause ‘N Effect is playing in three genres that can have pretty tight parameters when an artist decides to play it faithful.  And of those three genres, hip hop is the only one I would consider myself a fan of.  Reggae is just too prescribed and similar for me to ever find anything surprising about it.  And RnB has been watered down and over polished so much over the years, I have to remind myself about how amazing it can be when it’s sincere and stripped back.
Radical 2
Radical Son is one of those reminders.  Hearing the genuine, gut feeling behind a song like Talk to Me is the kind of thing that makes me realise I need to listen to more RnB.  Just not the kind of shit written by a team of middle aged white guys, then performed by some teenager before it hits the charts.

Radical Son

Other Opinions Are Available.  What did these people have to say about Cause ‘N Affect?
Sydney Morning Herald
PBS Melbourne

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