David Thompson Reaches the Top on New EP the wall
Whatever else he indicates, displays, or reveals on his latest release, the EP the wall, David Thompson is an accomplished vocalist. Keep in mind, this complimentary observation includes the fact that the artist is also a producer, a musician, and a songwriter.
Still, it’s his vocals that hit home (and the hardest) on this five-track outing. All jesting aside, he comes in like Prince on “clair”, the most accessible number on the collection. Other times he sounds like David Bowie or somebody, which is the case at the outset of his verses on “time”. In fact, his penchant for switching styles—and voices, so far as this reviewer’s concerned—is something not easily learned in the vocal booth, and a point of distinction between the talented and those that merely work hard.
Plus, for the majority of the oeuvre he unveils a sound and style that are distinctly his own, as is the case on “the wall”. The tempo on this one is so quick it almost catches you by surprise, while his algorithmic sounding square bass nearly pummels you with intensity. But his singing’s certainly the best part. It’s both textured and pitched, emotional and, somehow, revelatory.
“the wall” is one of two joints on which Thompson is joined by Howe Pearson on lead guitar on the project. The other is the aforementioned “clair”, which is the brightest, most chromatic tune of them all—due in no small part to Pearson’s strumming. The bassline bounces, the drum track moves, and the listener’s doused in waves of guitar, all of which makes for an attractive number. With the live sounding drum breakdowns and Thompson’s crooning, you can easily hear “clair” on the airwaves of any credible radio station—if not tugging at the strings of a young woman’s heart.
The EP’s opener, “time”, is an interesting effort. Although some artists eschew words for scatting or pure melodies bereft of lyrics on their hooks, Thompson is one of the few singers to sidestep any singing at all on the chorus, which he does on “time” and is much more typical of rappers than popsters. That omission is ripe for showcasing his production talents as he brings in some screechy, heavily synthesized sound that actually elevates the number.
With this admixture of vocalizing and producing, there’s no telling what direction the artist will head in next.