The recording sessions for the album “Relationships 2” must have been some of the most fertile of Rockidle’s entire career, something that his latest single “Change” demonstrates in spades. It’s a winner for me and a shining testament to the artist’s talent. It is an overwhelming track by design. In the history of music, there are classic tracks that feel carved in stone, where every note seems purposeful in communicating a point. It’s a sprawling quality inherent to “Change”. This is a song written by a fully matured man in the midpoint of his life, with a complex mixture of excitement, regret, irony, anger and joy. He is still displaying extraordinary ambition and, most importantly, able to speak to an audience from different eras.
Talent, dedication, and certainly an overwhelming amount of hard work keeps the momentum of Rockidle rolling forward. On “Change” Rockidle has imbued his words with power, so he has ensured musical continuity by wiping clean any instrumental niceties that don’t make an immediate impression.
That means crunchy chugging guitars, resonating basslines, and acoustic pianos push to the fore in a forceful way. Behind them, thumping drums and sweeping washes of strings complete the sonic template.
It’s all crunch and bravado, as Rockidle’s highflying vocals rise above it all to square out cultural, and socio-political angles under the Union Jack. Rockidle and his band have delivered a solid and wholly exceptional song, propelled by a sharp lyrical theme and a clear vision on “Change”.
If you used this song as a measuring of the fire burning inside Rockidle, you can rest assured he’s still spitting flames. Firing on all pistons like a well-tuned automobile, the band is clearly inspired by songs in which Rockidle vividly renders his personality and emotions.
“Change” creates an ominous air conjured as much by the portentous gait of the rhythm section, and the raw grit of the guitars, as the keyboardist’s spooky piano line. To top it all, is a man who has seen it all, and has some truly wise words to impart.
From the very beginning, the record bucks and kicks with the energy of rock-royalty bombast. However, it’s still Rockidle’s ever-present gift for melody and harmony, which sets him apart from the sea of modern rock charlatans proliferating the circuit.
The instant impact of “Change” reminds you that Rockidle has managed to preserve the best parts of Brit-rock and its subgenres, and has consistently done so for quite a while now. Rockidle can melt your heart just as expertly as he can melt your face.
That said, as loud as “Change” can sometimes be, it illuminates the artist’s songwriting and lyrical craftsmanship. Urgent, committed, viscerally present, “Change” is both a reminder and an update of Rockidle’s artistic status.
MORE ABOUT: Derek Hagan is Rockidle, a singer-songwriter who is currently based in Finland. He has so far worked on 4 collections of songs – “Sunny Side Up” with musician / producer Hill Briggs, “Belvedere Drive”, with musician / producer Matt Cowley, “Relationships”, with singer / musician / producer Tania Sheratte, and with Matt Cowley, Tania Sheratte, and Hazze Wazeen on a 4th collection of songs titled “Relationships 2”, released digitally on the 17.12.21. Rockidle has now started work on a 5th collection of songs.