Vineet’s “I Pray” (SINGLE)

The breathless yearning for redemption in the heart of Vineet’s “I Pray” is the single’s chief selling point. It is not something you can sum up with easy platitudes and achieve any sort of exactitude; Vineet conveys it through a mix of his vocal excellence, the instrumental arrangement, and lyrical content, a synthesis of forces, rather than one facet of the performance shaping everything else. I know the COVID onslaught slamming his home country India motivates much of the song’s longing, but there’s something deeper stirring in “I Pray”. It’s a beneficent spirit finding its way into each minute of this gem, a common thread of humanity tying you to the track early and never letting go.

It never labors with overstatement. Vineet utilizes direct and restrained diction throughout the entirety of “I Pray” that never lapses into purple melodrama. Many other tracks of this ilk are a trite procession of clichés rather than making any sort of meaningful personal statement. Vineet’s artistry has impressive maturity and intelligence shines through here. I find quibbling with his message quite impossible and countless listeners will undoubtedly agree. The lines are sculpted with a percussive sound in mind and Vineet delivers on their potential.

Building the song around synthesizers and other pre-programed instrumentation isn’t surprising, but it is a break with the rock theatrics of Vineet’s preceding single. You hear none of those influences here. This is far from pandering, but there’s no question Vineet crafted “I Pray” for maximum commercial impact and the evocative shifts in feel, strong bass, and compelling rhythms make for a pleasurable listening experience.

He has the well-honed instincts of a veteran songwriter. “I Pray” takes turns in all the appropriate places and his sense of pacing is flawless throughout. Each part of the song stands on its own and no obvious stitching cleaves one passage to the next. It flows, from the first, with a sure sense of direction. It isn’t difficult to envision that Vineet had the song mapped out, for all intents and purposes, before beginning recording. The self-assurance is audible at every step.

One thrilling thing is that he has yet to reach the peak of his powers. Attentive and longtime listeners will hear a steadily rising trajectory in his two recent songs, “Jab the World” and this, and I expect it to continue. His vocals round off the package. He possesses a versatile instrument capable of inhabiting both rock and pop-themed soundscapes in a convincing way. Vineet’s grasp of dramatics, as well, sets him apart from many other modern singers.

“I Pray” is a desperate song for desperate times. It is a song of hope, however – the act of praying is a life-affirming move that places faith in a better tomorrow. He has the talents to bring those qualities to life without ever relying on empty histrionics to hold listeners’ attention. This is a great song for newcomers to discover, as well, and I’m certain it will encourage them to follow this talented singer/songwriter. 

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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