It’s not easy to put a new spin on a classic four-chord 12/8 soul ballad like this, so it’s a good thing there’s such a powerful and charismatic performer singing the lead (step aside, Rag ’n’ Bone Man…), because he could pretty much carry the song on his own, regardless of what the backing was doing. In that sense, it reminds me of Lewis Capaldi’s break-out hit 'Someone You Loved', another here-we-go-round-four-chords ballad that could so easily have tanked had it not been for a vocal star turn. However, in this case, there are also some nice production flourishes that really elevate the basic concept.
For example, the brass stabs (and orchestral bass drum too I suspect) really lend power to the main beats, so that they almost feel like refugees from an Imagine Dragons record! The heavy-set retro-style reverbs provide an excellent sense of depth too, when set against the singer’s assertively forward-sounding upper spectrum. But the headline move for me is the dramatic pitch-warble you can hear on the quarter-note keyboard chords right from the start of the song. What a fabulous bit of ear candy! Not only does it immediately grab our attention by standing in stark relief against a general chart backdrop where so many releases seem pitch-quantised to death, but it also likely ensures immediate brand recognition if ever you hear the song again – both very smart commercial moves!