16 July 2021 (released)
16 July 2021
Power, Protest and Prosperity are all on show in this pile-driver of a new song from the Atlanta based Singer-Songwriter. If anyone thought Curtis Harding had been resting on his laurels since his 2018 single It’s Not Over, then think again. Exactly that, It isn’t over.
Opening with a rousing, uplifting Gospel chorus, Hopeful launches into a spoken-word rap, or call-out which becomes more incantatory with each verse. Harding achieves here that which only the very few have attempted, let alone mastered, which is to deliver spoken-word in melodic and alluring terms. A Protest song? Definitely. Does it aim capture a wave of emotion in troubled America? It would seem so. But Hopeful simultaneously delivers an emphatic message to his listeners: ‘Don't fret 'cause it ain't over yet’.
The Bass /Fender Rhodes syncopation and Motown-esque Guitar chop give the track a stamp of 70s authenticity, resident of the same fraternity as recent torch carriers: Gabriels and Black Pumas. Think five minute film-score meets Psychedelic-Soul with a smattering of The Isleys' Summer Breeze, and you’re getting somewhere close to Hopeful. The song’s construction evokes a groundswell of emotion, which is articulated by the clever use of Atlanta based PhotoJournalist Lynsey Weatherspoon, who uses Black Lives Matter protests and local imagery in her powerful Video short.
“I wrote [“Hopeful”] some time ago but in theory it goes far beyond a time and place,” Harding said recently. For me, the mastery lays in the hooky cadence of the Strings arrangement that occupies centre stage as the song resolves, leaving us back where we came in, ‘Hopeful!' More please.
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