"Bobbie Boat" by The UpsidersReview
Today, we reach episode seven (of nine) in the "Reconnect" project of The Upsiders: "Bobbie Boat". The last part, "Something Real" marked a distinct rise (in several senses) in the emotional fortunes of protagonist Kenny (though maybe I should refer to him as a hero?) and I trust you are rooting for him in his quest to foster true social connection between people in his life as I am?
As you'll have gathered from all my previous reviews in this series, The Upsiders tend to do a couple of things within it: they make each individual song sound different to each other (no mean feat) and they cram a great deal of meaning into each one, to make the philosophical points they are trying to get across in the collection, while retaining the simpler pop sensibilities so you can actually enjoy each one on its own merits too.
Consequently this is a tender ballad (produced by Matt Cotterill with appropriate sensitivity) which sits somewhere between the American West (the beat and picking are reminiscent of all those old cowboy film songs) and Paris (check out the chanson style accordion) & tells a humane tale of love, loss & offering a path to redemption through the pain. Clearly, The Upsiders appear to be saying to us, reconnection to each other is the goal & treating one another as human beings rather than simply contacts on your mobile phone & social networks is greatly desirable for our emotional & mental good health: but there is no guarantee that every enhanced interaction will be what you want of it, nor necessarily fulfil your dreams. Yet even so, it can lead you & others along a truthful road to something real & meaningful further ahead.
The "Reconnect" road certainly has a lot of twists & turns in it, but it is proving a stimulating journey & the sense of waiting for each new instalment will be a loss once it is concluded. It has also I am sure provided the band with a lot of useful challenges which can only benefit their career: not just the ability to tell stories in a more complex and layered way, but to break through the musical expectations of themselves & their fans ("Bobbie Boat" is not really like anything you'll have heard from them before) and present a wider palette of choices for future writing and arranging.