REVIEW: “Victoria’s Secret” (Single) by Rohan Solomon

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“Victoria’s Secret” is the latest single from New Delhi’s Rohan Solomon. The pop rock track is sung from the vantage of a model with insecurities and yearning to be her true self. Solomon’s crisp vocals and moving music bed entangles the listener into this rich storytelling venture. It’s evident from the lyrics and the dramatic music bed that Solomon’s inspiring track is more than just an escape; to listen to “Victoria’s Secret” from the point-of-view of any gender is to embark upon a personal journey.

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The tragedy of the protagonist in “Victoria’s Secret” is that she just wants to be herself. She says you don’t get me/don’t know how I live my life/it’s a prison cell holding me, Solomon sings. His voice is completely tuned into the emotional tiredness, the empathy the listener feels for this woman. He sounds like a mix between Daughtry, The Verve Pipe’s Brian Vander Ark and The Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik. His natural melodic delivery of the lines she’s living in a circle that won’t let her break free / and all that she wants she says/ I just want to be me. What I appreciated most about his vocal range is that his pitch and his temperament is ideal. He never over sings and in a way, he’s just as hauntingly beautiful as the song’s character.

Solomon’s song has a vibrant music bed — starting out with a modest acoustic guitar. As the moments pass, a seamless transition to electronic guitar riffs. The listener also melts into a subtle percussion, with a throbbing bass guitar popping up. That surprised me, the bass is actually a really cool distraction. During the chorus delivery, the music is orchestrated, moving through like leaves dancing during autumn. It’s the perfect amount of embellishment, and sustains the retrospective and elegant sheen. Solomon, now based in New York City, has a very reflective tone in his songwriting. It’s easy to imagine he writing these lyrics at a coffee shop. While it is based on a woman, I do think this song could be about anyone, and not just a waiflike model, or Hollywood starlet. Solomon humanizes this character and I found myself drawn to her presences. Funny, the world is wearing masks right now, but maybe we’ve been wearing masks all along. It’s a very relatable story and impresses upon the listener an idea of how unnerving anxiety and insecurities can be. Solomon captures the vulnerability in his voice, and his backing music has glimmers of hope and positivity. It’s really a fine example of superb songwriting — a rarity in pop music.

“Victoria’s Secret” crosses at an intersection between pop rock, adult contemporary and folk. A former lead singer of the Indian alternative rock band, Cyanide, Solomon is also an audio engineer and vocal coach. He formed a new band, By Chance, after moving to New York a few years ago. The trio released three singles in 2019: “Blue Sky”, “Hard To Breathe” and “Time”. “Victoria’s Secret” follows Solomon’s previously released (solo)single “Keep Holding On”.

Colin Jordan

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Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer

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