Song Review: Chase Bryant, “Room To Breathe”

All right folks, who’s ready to take their annual dose of Chase Bryant mediocrity? …I didn’t think so.

Bryant’s career thus far has been one of false starts and bizarre release strategies: We get one single a year from him, and while they seem to perform marginally well (his last two songs peaked at #9 and #4), they never seem to be enough to generate any lasting momentum for Bryant’s career. This year’s attempt at relevance is “Room To Breathe,” the lead-off single off his upcoming album, and…well, let’s just say the third time isn’t going to be the charm.

Production-wise, calling this track Metropolitan doesn’t go far enough: This is flat-out pop music, a half-coherent amalgamation of drum machines, squealing synths, and disco-era guitar licks. The drums deserve some credit for setting a brisk pace and bringing some energy to the song, but they’re far too dominant in the mix and force the other instruments (of which there don’t seem to be too many) into the background. Don’t look too hard for a melody in this track, because outside of the guitar solo on the bridge, you’re not going to find one.

Lyrically…well, there’s this guy, and there’s this girl, and the guy is just so smitten with this girl that he wants to be in constant physical contact with her. That’s it. The wittiest the song gets is when Bryant declares that he should “change my address to you.” On top of these less-than-Shakespearean lyrics, the narrator’s desire to invade this girl’s personal space feels a little tone-deaf in 2016. (I find it bizarrely ironic that the last song I reviewed sought to increase the space between the singer and other people, while this one wants to reduce it to zero.)

Bryant certainly delivers a believable vocal performance, but he doesn’t quite reach the level of sexiness that he’s striving for. His voice is a bit thin, and sounds strained whenever he has to sing with any sort of volume. The entire vocal track lacks the polish and crispness of the production—the words are murkier than they should be, and Bryant sounds intermittently auto-tuned for no apparent reason. (To be fair, Bryant turns in an impressive guitar solo on the bridge, which is more than 90% of his peers would even attempt.)

Overall, “Room To Breathe” is an ineffective attempt to ride a Metropolitan trend that already seems to be losing steam in the industry, and probably won’t do too much to further Chase Bryant’s career. Better luck next year, dude.

Rating: 4/10. Feel free to skip this one.

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