Scene and Heard  –  CCLXXXVIII  Honey Dear  –  Daniel Alejandro (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Honey_Dear2.pngThe worlds of pop and the strains of the classical world may seem worlds apart but on Honey Dear, Daniel Alejandro proves that the two can, not only co-exist, but do so to great effect. The focal point of the song is immediately Alejandro’s voice, one which seems more usually found in the world of stage, opera and musical theatre than the more cliched world of pop. But it is his sleek and heady tones which straight away sign post this as more than just another pop wannabe. No, this is something far cleverer than just a pop song. But it is also everything you expect a pop song to be, how clever is that?

It is built on orchestral sweeps, brooding cellos and confident back beats, reminiscent of the way songs were made before pop music became the thing it is today, and as such is full of drama and dynamic, from minimal plaintive piano interludes to spiralling crescendos.  Pop music is normally full of tricks and gimmickry, of short cuts and sugar rushes, Honey Dear is however a much more honest affair. Rather than resorting to such easy options, it is driven by the power of the vocal delivery, the quality of the song writing and more than anything else the romantic heart which beats at its very core.

This is a song about lost love, of loss and longing, of regret for the past and of how things should have turned out differently and it is this which is the connection more than anything else. It may come from a private and personal place but the song carries a message which we can all relate to, which will strike a chord with anyone who has let that one special person slip through their fingers. There are few people out there with whom it won’t resonate.

It is the deft weave of classical grace, classic pop and romance that really jumps out at you, the oft cited less is more qualities, the pauses between, the notes, the unresolved tensions in the music and the inherent melancholy or at least reflection. It may be out of step with most pop music being made today but that is its strength rather than a failing. The fact that it follows its own path, one of sleeker musical lines, of timeless majesty and of a more heart-felt intent is exactly what new music should be brave enough to do. Let the production-line, pop-dross, identikit chart wannabes fight for space in their insular world, this is pop music designed for a much more discerning market and for that you have to applaud it.


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