Redray Frazier has several important releases in his growing discography and his latest, a single entitled “The Real Thing”, has everything it needs to be just as important. He’s crafted an unique synthesis of various styles such as retro pop, contemporary R&B/soul, and a dollop of rock into an emotional and smoldering piece. There are some flourishes layered throughout the arrangement but, for the most part, Frazier prefers keeping things percolating steadily rather than overwhelming listeners with one crescendo after another.
Everything pays off with the chorus. There’s an initial surge as the music segues into the refrain and Frazier finds his stride. Moving back into the verses comes off effortlessly. There’s abundant synthesizer presence in the song, but guitar provides an important component in the song’s musical attack. The wah-wah effect gives it just enough teeth to draw blood. Frazier’s percussion for the song has a tight lock with the bass that gives a fuller body to the tune.
Frazier grew up in New Jersey singing in his father’s Baptist church choir and you hear some of that influence as well in Frazier’s singing and vocal arrangement. It isn’t direct, really, but more a product of those hymns echoing through Frazier’s mind down the years and the inherent debt R&B and soul owes to such traditions. The movement of the song is something that will grab many. There is a tight, condensed feeling pervading over the melody and how Frazier unrolls it for listeners.
The double-tracked vocals help reinforce key passages. Frazier does bring a sultry near-whisper to some of the lines while avoiding any sort of cheap quality that might make the song sound crass. You can’t underestimate, as well, the funk strand woven throughout the arrangement. It isn’t always present, but it’s one of the most important “spices” flavoring the track. It’s all handled, however, with a masterful hand.
Many listeners will appreciate, as well, the song’s largely minimalist quality. There’s never any feeling that too much is going on, that Frazier is cluttering the arrangement, or else he’s providing anything else than a fully focused musical experience. It’s been a part of his makeup from the get-go and shows no signs of changing. Redray Frazier is where you can go to get your fix of one-of-a-kind soul, R&B, and funk spiced up with whatever else may be streaming through his consciousness. He knows how to get all down for listeners.
“The Real Thing” is a good title for this cut. He is not looking to make some sort of substantive statement about our world today nor make you rethink the possibilities of songcraft. He’s looking to entertain listeners, instead, to get under their skin and get their bodies moving. He’s looking to pick up the listeners’ mood. “The Real Thing” does all of that well and we can expect that Redray Frazier will continue to set himself apart with such first-class efforts. This may be his most popular single yet and newcomers will become fast fans.