My strength is solo rock artist Rish’s third single since she debuted with ‘The Hate Song’ just under a year ago. All these songs stand out on their own, but they have maintained one constant quality, delivery. With the help of some exquisite guitar work from the likes of Saidimu Kiereni and Amos Kiptoon, Rish has conjured a simple but replicable recipe for great rock songs. Mix that up with Rish’s confident and creative style then we have the template for the ideal rock song. And “My Strength” is no different.
Finally the rock song we deserve?
If you’ve been listening to Parking Lot Grass then you will notice an odd similarity between their electrically charged and sometimes predictable songs with how My Strength sounds. The raging and chugging riffs start off and then there’s a pause when her vocals enter the fray much like some PLG sounds like Naweza and Rainman.
But out of all Rish’s songs this is the true rock masterpiece. For fans that were, expectedly, dismayed by the brevity of “The Hate song” , this here is an extended and expanded appendage to it with less of the bluesy and soul vibe that seems to be a hallmark of Rish as an artist. That Blues and Soul element was heavily apparent in the song ‘At the End of the Day’ which played right in the same ballpark with songs from styles like Blue Eyed soul, a tinge of funk and Mississippi blues. That is one song that I felt made the best use of her songwriting abilities which are, to say the least, exceptional. My strength unfortunately for me (notice that I’m trying to find negatives here on purpose) isn’t fully representative of the Rish’s cultural richness as far as music is concerned. It is singularly a rock song by all degrees imaginable. Granted not every song has to be the whole package. While being focussed on the rock and roll dimension, “My Strength” does that very well, covering all bases and leaving nothing to chance. It is resolute, two fisted and confident.
But the best thing about this song isn’t even about the thrilling guitar play or Rish’s pacing and astute vocal ability but in the way the song builds up each department separately i.e. the vocals and the guitars. It gives each adequate opportunity to branch and identify with the audience. This is also obviously also down to great mastering work by Andromeda studios. Cheers!
Once the build-up is complete the engine revs up and climaxes with the teaming up of the two. This enhances both aspects rather than diminishing them. That is probably why the song will never sound the same with you singing it in the shower because without those blazing guitars it loses its life source (although that could be down to your terrible voice, regardless that your mum tells you otherwise) and beyond that climactic explosion of rock and roll energy and feminine verve, there is a resting place, where the elements settle and crystallize while now soothing voice and mellow sounds take center stage.
On a personal level writing this review provided a slight moment of joy in my otherwise dull and singular life at the office. In just starting out on my own path career wise, juggling lots of things and barely scraping through, in this dour existence, in the rain and in the storm, it is heart-warming to know I can plug in my headphones and find my strength,
I hope if you are reading this, that you continue to make music, because right now that is all we look forward to.