No matter what mood you catch the excellent Moonlight Rhythm Society in, you know that you are in for a sonic treat. Their music is always threaded through with smooth soulful soundscapes, bluesy beauty, and graceful grooves, and in the case of their latest track, Kinder Man, you find all of these musical moves and emotive moods, only dialed back to create something even more understated, even defter and even more delicate than usual.
It’s a song about second chances and redemption through acts of kindness, something that we can all hopefully relate to and their music is perfect as the vehicle for such a sweet sentiment. They can funk and groove, rock and indeed roll, with the best of them, when they chose to, but here the music is more in the form of gentle ebbs and flows, guitars offer underplayed yet vital breaks, the beat is gently infectious, pianos chime and meander and cascade and the bass pulses away in the background, the glue between the beat and the melody, the half-heard, unsung hero of such sounds.
Kinder Man is also proof that songs can be deep and yet meaningful, that even pop, and this is a kind of pop…just not of the kind that we are used to having in the charts anymore… can offer up something that is both sensitive and sophisticated, full of grace and yet with enough groove to make it accessible and immediate to the masses, something that has both style and substance – imagine that!
Perhaps, like most of the music that Moonlight Rhythm Society makes, it is a wake-up call to pop music in general and a reminder that we don’t have to settle for the lowest common denominator pop-pap. It is an argument that I seem to fall into every time I review their music, so I won’t keep banging on about it.
So, back to the task at hand, Kinder Man is a cool and delicate piece of music, one that brings together some much-needed lyrical sentiments, ones so often at odds with the blare and bombast of the modern world, with some brilliantly crafted musical threads. As always there is soulfulness at work and bluesy dexterity and a small amount of gentle funk-infused sway…just a hint, which is all that is needed here…but it is the band’s ability to take such sophisticated threads and weave them into something that is going to be just as accessible and irresistible to today’s young pop picker, that is their real selling point.