Good beats can mean the difference between making a great track and producing straight throwaway filler, and in the case of David Raybuck’s new LP The Prodigal, every pulsing element of the rhythm counts as much as any verses do. Take the song “Why I Sing” for example; in the staggered beat of the music (which is almost more melodically driven than it is anything else), we hear a story unique and distinguishable from the one being told by Raybuck from behind the mic. He’s using every tool within his reach on The Prodigal to make us feel everything he’s experiencing in his own life, and while the album isn’t devoid of some self-indulgence in a few relatively acceptable instances, it’s a lot more efficient and to the point than a lot of similarly-designed records would be.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: https://davidraybuck.com/
The structure of “The Pathway” is fantastic, but I don’t think that it’s the only song that could be adapted as a single at all. Honestly, there isn’t a lot of material on The Prodigal that doesn’t sound single-worthy, with some tracks like “Abide,” “Scales” and “Long Time Coming” certainly sounding as imagistic as a visually-supported counterpart would. You can tell right off the bat that Raybuck has a deeply personal investment in all of this music because even when he’s playing to stylistic familiarities more than he’s experimenting, he puts so much of himself into his performance that there’s no room for us to debate whether or not he’s being real with listeners in every way.
I wouldn’t mind hearing an electrified remix of “Be Healed,” a straight vocal version of the title track, and “Dwell,” as well as a live acoustic take on “In the Shadow of Your Wings” at all. There’s just so much flexibility in David Raybuck’s sound that it would almost be too hard to resist the urge to cut a couple of different versions of these songs in particular, but I can appreciate why he would want to save that kind of magic for his stage show exclusively. I haven’t seen him live myself, but if the presence he’s got in this record were to translate well in that situation, he could have one of the more interesting shows worth seeing in the year 2023.
BUY THE ALBUM: https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-prodigal/1648602137
The Prodigal presents us with a David Raybuck who is going places in this business, and while I’m just now starting to get into his music, I’ll be checking out his discography after it grows a little more for sure. He’s got a lot of talent that he’s starting to make complete use of, and if he finds some success with any of the songs on this record, independent pop on both sides of the Atlantic will be a lot better off for it. Raybuck is at the start of an incredible journey in this LP, and though he’s got a long distance left to travel, songs like “Hosanna” and “My Suffering” remind us that he’s more than up for the trip ahead.