Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, we’re going to be shining our gaze on a selection of tracks from Rick Kraich. The independent artist hails from Colorado and will be releasing his latest studio work on March 12. His signature country pop style has aided him in becoming one of the more notable indie artists in his area. How do his new tunes stack up? Let’s find out.
Kraich’s music dabbles in country and rock musings, but at its core, I’d argue it’s primarily pop. This isn’t a bad thing. Kraich’s style is infectiously catchy and there’s a very special art to writing good pop music. Quite seriously - attempt to write a solid pop hook. It’s difficult! His lead single, ‘My I’m Sorry Song,’ exemplifies this talent of his. The track is anthemic in nature, and you’ll be humming it long after you first hear it.
The new tracks Kraich is promoting are primarily love-oriented. ‘I’ll Never Say Goodbye’ is a stark contrast to ‘My I’m Sorry Song,’ at least, contextually. It’s a beautiful little pop love song. I thoroughly enjoy the soft steel guitar musings in the backdrop of the track - that’s the sly country influence dabbled throughout these tunes.
‘Til The End Of Time’ isn’t quite as strong. It’s riddled in lyrical cliche, something that Kraich does struggle with throughout his music. The song does offer an entryway to discuss that, though. When you’re performing pop music, you walk a thin line between creative expression and predictable monotony. ‘Til The End Of Time’ is the latter. ‘My I’m Sorry Song’ walks alongside the former line. Kraich’s music does frequently occupy trope-laden territory. ‘Life Still Goes On’ does this, too.
Instrumentally, ‘Changes and Chances’ offers a few more layers than its predecessors. It’s worth noting that Kraich’s production is incredibly good. Everything is mixed perfectly; he’s well accented, and the backing band is exceptional. The composition of ‘Changes and Chances’ highlights this better than some of the other tracks, and the lyricism feels more dynamic than predictable songs like ‘Til The End Of Time.’
Rick Kraich is a very talented artist, I think. One chock-full of potential. I'd argue several of these tracks are forgettable romps through cliche, though. He needs to watch that line between his own creative direction and rehashing stereotypical lyricism and ideas. When he does reach outside of that comfort zone, however, he’s a strong artist. I’d be interested to see him experiment outside of that space more.