Magazine Gap has always juggled a lot of sonic balls, so to speak. Previous songs have shown that they are no stranger to polished pop, soulful grooves, music with real feeling but now they add another important element to their musical arsenal. Space. Not that their songs have ever felt cluttered but whereas their previous use of this underrated commodity was to allow themselves some creative elbow room, to give the music room to be able to breathe and percolate, this time out it feels as if space has become an instrument in its own right.
A straight beat kept interesting by some infectious fills, staccato piano inclusions and just enough guitar lines to weave everything together and that’s about it, all of which allows the voice and the vocal message to really take centre stage. Leaving this much space is a brave approach, most musicians will tell you that it easier to overplay than underplay and of course the art of these things is knowing what to leave out, but it is an skill they seem to have in no small amount.
The result is their usual approach to polished, soulful pop music but For The Ride is all the more compelling, all the more honest, for its nakedness and vulnerability. This is pop from the heart and when was the last time you heard anything this real coming from those generic quarters? Not for a while I’d guess.