Music Review: Bryce Vine and Natalie La Rose

Bryce Vine and Natalie La Rose will be performing at Albion College’s Big Show on Wednesday, April 12. At 8 p.m., Vine will open for La Rose, and if you haven’t heard their music before, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect on Wednesday night.

Bryce Vine

As one of the final 12 contestants for “The Glee Project,” Bryce Vine was the first person sent home from the audition. He said afterwards that it wasn’t the place for him, and since then, his career has taken off. A year after releasing Lazy Fair, his first EP, Vine’s “The ‘Thug’ Song,” a satirical rap song about what it means to be a “thug”, became a hit for reasons he didn’t expect.

With the same guitar riff that opens to Green Day’s hit “Brain Stew,” Vine begins “The ‘Thug’ Song” by rapping about the lifestyle that goes with being a thug. The catchy beat and fluent rapping has an upbeat feel that keeps people listening. As Vine transitions to the chorus, he sings, “I just want to be a thug / Throw my hands up in the air and shoot a gun,” where the satirical tone can be felt with every note.

Vine’s “Where The Wild Things Are” was the theme song to the 2013 X Games, and it’s definitely one of my personal favorites. The powerful beat combined with Vine’s quick rapping give a determined tone to the music. The chorus is the strongest part of the song, featuring electronic beats and Vine’s own voice singing, “I feel alive / I’m free tonight.” Although it’s different from the fun and jubilant sounds of many of his songs, the determined feel to the song is more than enough to hook a listener in and want more music like that from Vine.

“Sour Patch Kids” takes us back to, well, feeling like kids again. As one of Vine’s most jubilant songs, he talks about wanting to “playin’ around living like a child.” This song is something most college kids can relate to: Going back to our childhood and not having to worry about anything. For a little over four minutes, Vine makes us feel like we don’t have to worry about anything anymore. His captivating lyrics and pleasant tone take us back to the good ol’ days, and even though his music may get stuck in your head, they’ll get stuck for better, not worse.

Natalie La Rose

La Rose is an artist born for the stage. With a background as both a dancer and singer, the Dutch-born musician is able to electrify her audience with spirit and strength, much like the performer herself. Having toured with Fifth Harmony and FloRida as well, La Rose undoubtedly knows how to work a crowd.

A blend between Alicia Keys and Tinashe, La Rose’s voice is pure allure. It’s smoky and vibrant, seductive and powerful. It is a thrill that allows her to flaunt her clubby vibe. Some of La Rose’s music can come off as outdated, with cliché EDM-style drumbeat buildups and uninspired rap introductions and breaks – think early 2010s-era prom music – but La Rose’s vocals transcend her far past any generic structures.

La Rose’s biggest hit (and, amazingly, her first single) is “Somebody” featuring Jeremih. Since its debut in 2015, the groovy, synth-y song has racked up over 143 million views on Youtube. She is able to capture the spirit of a subtler, modern day Whitney Houston, whose song “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” was the inspiration behind La Rose’s. This rhythmic energy is maintained in her other hit, “Around the World,” featuring Fetty Wap. Its reflective of what La Rose classifies her music as “rhythmic, funky, groovy or vibe-y.”

La Rose is at her strongest when she sings for Dutch DJs Tiesto and Oliver Heldens’ “The Right Song.” The musical rhythms are catchy, sleek and sexy, and allow for the listener to move past the basic beats that may have held La Rose’s talent back. We can truly appreciate the aesthetic, flair and talent that La Rose brings, attributes she is likely to bring with her as she performs on the Washington Gardner stage.

Photos via brycevine.com and All Noise

About Steven Marowski 62 Articles
Steven Marowski is a junior from Farmington Hills, Michigan, and is a professional writing and philosophy double major. Follow him on Twitter at @Steve_Marowski

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