Ricky Comeaux releases If I Ruled the World
Certain songs are so iconic within our culture that they’re almost impossible for even more talented artist to tackle, but for Ricky Comeaux, the task doesn’t appear as daunting at all. In Comeaux’s new record If I Ruled the World, we get a fresh take on compositions like the title track, “It’s Over,” “If,” “Carolina In the Morning” and “Hallelujah” without having to experience something so avant-garde and surreal that it would be unrecognizable to the devoted audiophiles among us. Here, we find a cover album conceived to please grown-up tastes, and that’s absolutely worth writing home about at this present moment in time.
“It’s Over,” “I Don Quixote,” “Theme from Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “Not While I’m Around” are all about showing off the vocal muscularity that this singer can flex on a whim, but in all four of these tracks, there is literally zero overindulgence to be found. This isn’t to say that Comeaux’s delivery isn’t without some surface flaws here and there, but by and large, he exhibits the kind of disciplined approach in If I Ruled the World that I would like to hear a lot more of in the pop genre this decade.
I would have liked just a little bit more of a percussive presence in the title cut and “Since I Fell for You” than we ultimately end up getting, but at the same time, I can appreciate what Ricky Comeaux was trying to accomplish by keeping the beats in these two songs on the softer side of the spectrum. If his goal was to shine as much of the spotlight on his relationship between the instrumental melodies and those created by his own voice, he was wise to keep the drums right where they are here, and I doubt that I would be the only critic to note as much this February.
Despite the elaborate nature of the cosmetics in “Since I Fell for You,” “Carolina in the Morning” and “Theme from Kiss of the Spider Woman,” these three tracks are actually some of the more robust examples of efficient arranging skills you’re going to find on If I Ruled the World. Obviously, Comeaux is going to get a lot of attention for his singing in this LP, but there’s just as much to be praised about the way he took these songs and made them into complementary templates for his voice (which is about as far away from being a recycled product as you can get with this genre of music).
Ricky Comeaux outdoes himself in the brand new record If I Ruled the World, and from where I sit, its eleven songs are probably some of the more worthwhile live musical-quality tunes you’re going to be able to get your hands on before the official commencement of spring just one month from now. Heavenly harmonies and velvety verses await all who press play on this tracklist, and in my experience, they tend to become all the more endearing with each listen they’re afforded.