The singer-songwriter subgenre – one of the many that emerged from the shattering of rock music at the dawn of the 70s, was an interesting phenomenon when it became supremely viable to play an acoustic guitar or a piano and be sensitive, spiritual, aware and conscious. Some of the most beautiful, impactful and timeless songs came from that era. Then the world changed. Changes in technology, changes in morality, changes in how men and women related to each other and the world around them. Moreover, the music business changed – and with it, the way songs were written, played, and the way artists were marketed and perceived.
Today on hearing the EP “The Best Way To Be Free”, by Nobo, I was taken back in time, in the best possible way. His songs are forged from the same, pure, noble, creative and conscious spirit, found in many of his legendary peers from the golden singer-songwriter era. Wrapped up in a warm and organic blend of pop and rock, every single musical moment on this EP, is beguiling. It is a recording with so many remarkable moments, none of which panders to clichéd trends.
Nobo is an extremely accomplished songwriter at his best, delivering timeless material, performed with an effortless demeanor. The opening song on the EP – dedicated to Onita Boone – “Free And Wild (Onita’s Song), is the perfect introduction to Nobo’s craft.
The chord progression will be engaging to any pop or rock fan, while the leaping joyous energy and studio gleam give the track its ascension. Nobo’s vocals soar above the uplifting music as he unfolds the narrative centered on the importance of being free of your own shackles in life, which chain you down.
“I Like The Idea” is filled with richly layered harmonies and an expansive musical arrangement, which rides on a rock solid mid-tempo beat. Delivered with incredible study, precision and passion, the song is populated with show-stealing vocals from Nobo.
Written with his muse Kate in mind, Nobo says that he had to reach for the stars to create this song. “The lyrics are about finding heaven in the heart,” says Nobo. “What the heart wants for us is so much greater and even more glorious than anything we dare to dream,” he concludes.
The song “True (Marvin’s Song)” is dedicated to Marvin A. Smith, someone who helped Nobo shape the essence of who he is. The song is full of stuff that would easily fit into different musical eras.
Nobo makes music that sounds universally relevant; filling a void in today’s music you might not have realized was there. Nobo is one of the rare artists whose songs you would instantly recognize. Due to his excellence as a storyteller, it is easy for fans to feel intimately close with his feelings, inspirations and aspirations.
Nobo, just as many of history’s greatest songwriters, elevates the personal into the universal on “The Best Way To Be Free”. Moreover, he has surrounded himself with exceptionally talented musicians to bring his vision to life. Inspiration from records can come when you least expect them, and such is the case with this EP, which makes a clear and decisive statement that optimism can ultimately prevail.
Once upon a time, there was a schoolboy teased by his classmates and friends, with the nickname Nobo. Those same friends with whom Nobo eventually formed a rock band. He went on to have a love-hate relationship with music, caused by an unhealthy ambition, which forced him to focus on his persona instead of the music itself.
No longer putting his self-worth at stake, nowadays Nobo simply follows his heart, propelled by his passion for music and psychology, which has since evolved into spirituality. The result is an impressive recording such as “The Best Way To Be Free”.
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Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/mx/artist/nobo/1609458987