REVIEW: HeIsTheArtist — Adam & Eve (EP)
Mildly distorted in comparison to what we hear in the “Love Version” of the track, “Boom — The Explosion” features an important role player in its keys that essentially defines the emotion in the words before they ever come slipping from HeIsTheArtist’s lips. As is the case with the other songs featured on Adam & Eve, the latest EP from HeIsTheArtist, instrumentation carries as much of the narrative as any of the lyrics do, and if you like contemporary R&B and pop music, you know just how rare an attribute this has unfortunately become in the year 2020.
Where the keys deliver plenty of chills in the mixes of “Boom,” the acoustic fretwork in “Sometimes / I Want You Around” as well as “Lovin’ You” is best described as an angelic complement to a feathery vocal from the star of this one-man show. HeIsTheArtist shows us that he can harmonize with whatever element he needs to in Adam & Eve, and though some of the experimentation is more conservative in style — mostly due to the format of the record — there’s not a doubt in my mind that it’s giving us a solid sneak preview of what he could do in a more freeform environment.
No matter the rhythm or rhymes, HeIsTheArtist’s singing is always the most dominant force to be reckoned with, and in tracks like “High Fashion” and the remastered “Boom,” it actually melds with the backdrop to make a singular tidal wave of tonality. For better or worse, this is a vocalist who needs to have the bulk of the spotlight fixed on his performance and his performance alone to best appreciate what he can really do; however, even with this being the case, there isn’t a stitch of audio in Adam & Eve that I would call one-dimensional.
There are some pretty clear cut jazz influences in this EP, most notably in the medley “Sometimes / I Want You Around” and the shy “Lovin’ You,” and while both of these tracks are lacking in fluff, they offer a sense of controlled chaos that is hard to miss, whether you’re a professional critic or not. Although HeIsTheArtist has an extremely ambitious set of goals in Adam & Eve, as demonstrated by the myriad of influences obvious in his music, he isn’t biting off more than he can chew at any point here. He’s still growing into this sound, and better yet, he knows what he can do right now and what he can’t.
Try as you may, I don’t think you’re very likely to find another pop crossover quite like HeIsTheArtist’s Adam & Eve this September. As its title implies, there’s a moderately faith-based component to the original material in this record, but whether you’re a fan of spiritual music or not, the harmonies this EP boasts are something that most anyone with a taste for quality pop can get into. Adam & Eve is a stepping stone towards the big time, and for music enthusiasts, the perfect record to wrap up the summer with.