So yesterday I received notice that season two American Idol contestant Kimberely Locke (she came in third, I believe) started following my tweets on Twitter. I must admit that I found this a little bit strange but then realized she must have started following me when I mentioned that I was working in the studio the night before. I mean, why else would Kimberely Locke start following a man who describes himself as a “technology geek with the heart of a country boy that loves his partner, likes guys and enjoys Macs, photography, travel and interesting facial hair.”?
I wasn’t as surprised by her this morning, however, when she sent me a Direct Message because the DM contained a mention that her new single “Strobe Light” (or is it “Strobelight”) was available on iTunes starting today. I took the bait and downloaded it and took a listen.
As a Top 40 radio program director (my actual title was “Director of Operations”) I used to listen and judge music for a living and whilst I’m not the best person in the world at this task, I do think that I have a pretty good ear. I always base my feelings on that first listen because there’s a good chance that a radio listener is going to be listening for the first time and if they don’t like what they hear they’re going to jump to another station.
At first I thought that iTunes had a bad copy of the record because the effect used on the first few bars of the song make it sound like it’s a warped 12-inch record. Okay. I guess we’re going for a retro song. I got past that weird thing and then into the track.
Kimberely’s voice soars along nicely in the track but honestly, it’s not that well written of a song. A few parts of the mix feel like she’s out of step with the rhythm track and the entire thing is not as DJ friendly as you would want a retro dance track to be. This is unfortunate.
My second impression of the song was that it was a rough copy, because there’s parts of the second verse where it just feels like they forgot to put some instrumentation in or something. Kimberely sings along just fine, but she outclasses the mix by a mile. She’s always been classy and frankly, I think she’s worthy of a better mix.
The hook is a little odd in that it focuses on a melody that moves in a downward motion instead of an upward motion. Yes, the contrariness of this will make it stick out, but when you’re singing lyrics about moving with the flow and soaring high and such, you don’t want the melody leading you down the basement stairs.
I enjoy Kimberely Locke very much and I wanted to love this record. It’s intentions are good. It’s a shame that the result is rather mediocre. If I were still spinning in the clubs, it’d be an early night record. If I were still on the radio, it’d be “lunar rotation”.
If you’d like to hear the track, a sample is available on YouTube. Click here!