I ended my review of Rocadopolis last record, City Inside The Desert, by saying that his music was what “honesty sounds like,” so it is only fitting that he is moving along similar open and heart-on-sleeve lines on the latest release too. Broken Promises is a confessional song, one where Rocadopolis is honest enough to remind us that he, like everyone else, is far from perfect. But it is also saying that he is happy to admit that fact and it is perhaps through making mistakes in life that the biggest lessons are learned. All we can hope to do is pick ourself up, carry on and learn from the experience so that you don’t repeat it.
This time out the vibe is more laid back, more intimate, the lyrics feeling like a one-on-one conversation, a late night heart-to-heart with a close friend. The beats are sparse and the background pulse which carries the synth washes and understated electronica along builds the perfect platform for the vocals, one which is unobtrusive enough to allow the lyrics to arrive with a chilled, less-is-more attitude and the song is all the more powerful for it.
A lot of musicians working in similar genres today seem focused on self-aggrandisement, on the trappings of fame and fortune. Rocadopolis’ music is the sound of the man on the street, the everyman struggling to get by in a tough world and trying to do the right thing when meeting its many challenges. It’s refreshingly relatable, refreshingly real and if you will forgive me turning to a word I have already over-used in this review…honest.
Times are tough, we are all just trying to take each day as it comes, especially as the world seems to be building up momentum and spinning out of control. All we can do is meet the challenges before us and overcome them as best we can. And when that seems too steep a hill to climb, we have songs like Broken Promises to remind us that we really are all in this together.