Redray Frazier Drops “The Real Thing”

The self-styled rock and soul troubadour Redray Frazier’s second single “The Real Thing” continues developing his solo career in the right direction. He is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the most skilled purveyors of rock/funk/soul fusion on the indie scene today and his new track should further enhance his credibility with fans of the style. Frazier is no stranger to the music world with a long and impressive list of credits to his name including opening for Lenny Kravitz and Ben Harper, as well as playing in former Talking Heads’ front man David Byrne’s band. It has been quite a musical journey for someone who began such a voyage singing in the choir of his father’s Baptist church.

You even hear some of those gospel roots running through his singing and the vocal arrangement. This is natural. He’s working with a form whose overall roots run deep into the American gospel tradition. In a sense, it is a religious song. The broadest sense. Spiritual is the better word though as there is an innate celebration of life going on here, regardless of the lyrical subject matter, and he embodies that with a remarkably flexible vocal that enlivens each line of the song. His singing is never perfunctory.

It is working with a musical arrangement that checks off all the boxes. “The Real Thing” crosses over into several stylistic territories but the sound has an electronic foundation. Synthesizers and their ilk, however, never dilute or neuter the performance. It gives Frazier’s sometimes double-tracked vocals an excellent foil to work off and the sparks they generate are enough to light the song up even brighter. There are several moments when it seems ready to explode, but it never does, and this musical sleight of hand is among its best qualities.

These are styles of music that do naturally lend themselves to one another. Redray Frazier is building on that potential, yes, and not remaking the musical wheel, but the thing separating him from his peers is that his personality comes through in every part of the song, even when he isn’t singing. Much like the movie camera seems to “love” certain stars in film history, likewise, music seems like an especially fertile ground for an assortment of the very best performers.

“The Real Thing” shows he has the chops to join their ranks. It is not a stretch to expect he’ll put it all together as well. He’s got experience under his belt and that’s important, but what matters is, even more, is that Redray Frazier is possessed with a vision for what his music should sound like. “The Real Thing” is another right step in that direction and you’ll be grateful and happy you made the trip with him. It’s got what you want to satisfy the devout music listener, fans of his preceding single will eat it up, and it inspires listeners to come back for more. Take a bow, Redray Frazier. You’ve released one of 2022’s best singles yet. 

Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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