There are some singers who begin to sing, and their audience sees nothing but black and white boredom as if they have just been transported to a clip out of Lord of the Rings’ Middle Earth – GRAY! But then there are singers who make their audience see every color of the rainbow with-just-one-note! That is what Becky Bowe does for her audience …
Cosmic Heart is Bowe’s latest EP and it contains five alluring tracks that are spellbinding:
- Don’t Darken My Door
- Getting Older
- I Know It’s Real
- Cosmic Heart
- Grown Up
The EP opens with “Don’t Darken My Door,” a song that harkens the soft R&B tracks sang by Mary J Blige back in the day with its soft instrumentation and crisp finger snaps. Lyrically, “Don’t Darken My Door” is full of no excuses just affirmations and promises revealing a woman who is set to stand in her truth. The acoustic guitar that introduces the track adds a simplistic flare that is so carefree and promising. Bowe delicately starts her song singing in that pleasant silky soprano with the words: “I’ve made up my mind, ran around a thousand times, strong enough to see when something is wrong, now I wanna be free, free from everything, sorry it ended this way . . . don’t darken my door.”
This Pop R&B ballad containing a narrative about self-love, reflection, endurance, and moving on awaits the ears of everyone who is longing for REAL MUSIC, and it never sound so PERFECT! The backing vocals adds texture and weight to a song that is rightly strong but passionately inspiring as it shows a woman who demands light instead of darkness.
Following “Don’t Darken My Door” is the mid-tempo R&B/Pop tearjerker “Getting Older” which lyrically questions and answers the reason behind the changes in life, and within relationships, that come about naturally without awareness.
One of the best pieces to “Getting Older” is the element of Soul that Bowe laces on the track which is showcased by a rich backbeat and a bass-heavy bottom. In addition, using acoustic guitars, simple synths, keys, soft percussions, and heavy bass drums brings the swagger, while Bowe’s gentle vocal prowess, illustrates vulnerability that is passionately strong. The backing vocals feature unison notes that switch into slight harmonies that play between Bowe’s powerful lead and then ignite into fantastic highlights within the hook – much like the way a disco ball accentuates a dark room – splendid! This track is a perfect example of how when you do songwriting and music correctly, the less is more adage ROCKS!
“I Know It’s Real” plays like a romantic theme song. The way the track bleeds-in gives off the feel of a soft caress. The large emotive backing vocals containing both male and female singers make the song so rich. And even though this track has a wonderful Pop R&B groove to it, the tempo and inclusion of a strong backline of percussions, and that fantastic rhythm guitar, brings in the Soul. The attitude in Bowe’s vocals demands attention, and the way she twists and bends her trills at the end of the track shows off her vocal skills while additionally highlighting the passion of the song’s storyline – that love, although undefinable at times, is REAL!
Next, is the song that plays the most like a Jazz ballad is “Cosmic Heart.” That solo piano in the beginning and the brass throughout, combined with the yearning vocal execution of Bowe illustrated with elongated expressions, makes “Cosmic Heart” an exceptional piece of Modern Jazz that tells the story of two people being in love. But this is not just the typical type of love that we often see played out on TV today, or on social media, this is the type of love illustrated by pure, honest, emotions – so much so, that this feeling of love is so strong, and goes so deep, that it is stellar. The instrumental and vocal pauses placed within the song gives the listener a moment to reflect and live with the song, while the modulation of the track towards the closing adds texture that is refreshing. Moreover, the addition of the handclaps and foot stomps add a small layer of Gospel. I just loved the duality of Bowe’s writing on this track. And by choosing to close the track with her voice and a male vocalist sort of vocally dancing with their vocals interweaving, puts the cherry on top.
The EP closes on a faster note with “Grown Up” – a Soulful cut that has bounce and swag. This song reveals a different side to Bowe, one that is more in your face. This is the song that will begin the next chapter to Bowe’s music – a prelude if you will, showing her flexing her muscles. The clicky beats and commanding piano chords makes the melody line an infectious hook and creates a great dancehall track.
Bowe is no amateur when it comes to illustrating versatility in voice!! I’ve said it before, and will continue to say it, Bowe is skilled in letting her vocals crawl, stand, and then soar, and it is so technically beautiful. This is not a computer-enhanced version of a voice, or a vocalist assisted by tons of reverb or autotune. Bowe’s voice complements the lyrics that she pens by her emotions carrying the message while her skill paints the picture.