There’s been a distinct hole in the center of pop music of late; for every groundbreaking, record-smashing talent akin to Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, or Madonna, there are hundreds of one-hit wonders or newer acts primed to mainly function entirely as derivative homages and complicated tribute acts opposed to unique forces within the music industry.
Just in regards to the three aforementioned pop diva icons alone, there are direct ties in sound and scope to Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga — while both of these artists are fantastic and legendary in their rights, there’s still a great amount of time and ground to see covered to determine their stay in the public consciousness is something longer than a decade at best. With this next newcomer, the homages are certainly present but the approach is something decidedly one of a kind. The general focus with the pop genre is, in an absolute outlier attitude compared to everything else on planet Earth, the female perspective; there are very few pop icons that fall under the category of male, and even fewer still who owns the scene and sound as much as… Calvyn Cass.
Back with “You Always,” his second single this year and third release on streaming overall, Calvyn Cass is an artist as bold and as appropriately excessive in his confidence as they come; “You Always” serves as a distinctly charged and potent pop anthem set to dismantle the egos of the strongest exes, maintaining a razor-sharp focus on the concept of a person who can’t commit to loving someone even when they constantly state the opposite. In true pop fashion, the lyrics deliver an emphasis on repetition but the main focus of the track is, undoubtedly, the production of the instrumental. Not only is the instrumental the obvious core focus of the track, though Cass delivers incredible vocals throughout the single, it also serves as such a strength that listeners will revisit the single just to decode the harmonies and composition on display.
As stated prior, the song’s lyrics do weaken the overall impact of something that could have been a true, stone-cold knockout with some tighter penmanship, but there’s a distinct need for “You Always” to function most importantly as a club anthem in the wake of a year without clubbing than it might need to be a song more insightful or nuanced. “You Always” rises to the highly-stacked challenge of being one of the first post-pandemic bangers that find itself arriving exactly on time, with more than enough energy to go around, and the genre of pop will find itself indebted to Cass and his bravado as a result. The tributes and familiar sounds all feel fine-tuned and owe a fine amount of their genetic makeup to pop icons of the past, but when it comes to bringing something that nobody else can bring to the table?
Calvyn Cass isn’t going to spend time mincing words in favor of powerful walls of sound and unencumbered high production matched with a personality larger than life and the three-minute runtime of “You Always” combined. There’s a great deal still left to be said by Cass and you can bet it all that the entire world will soon be listening.