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"You Had It All (Reimagined)" by The Rising

Review

For those of you following the incremental release of The Rising's ‘No Hope Without Love' EP (and I hope that's you all), you may have counted that we are up to the fifth (of five) singles from it as Chris & Chantelle have been drawing the whole to our attention carefully & subtly so we can savour each component to its full before experiencing the complete artefact.

This final discrete component is called "You Had It All (Reimagined)" and comes out on 8th October. Does the title ring a bell? Are you intrigued by the bit in brackets?  In fact I reviewed their "You Had It All" single back in April and this latest release is in fact another look at the same basic song, albeit through another musical filter.

It might be worth having a look back at that previous review since I do cover some of the fundamentals there. However, the new formulation has qualities entirely of its own which are worthy of our attention. Whereas with its first incarnation I noted the rather Fleetwood Mac style approach to the arrangement and performance, this time around the arrangement is radically different: much more intimate and acoustic in nature based around a piano played by guest John McCullough with a ‘cello contribution from Danny Boyle. Chris naturally is there in the mix on guitar, but it's a completely different contribution from him this time, much more restrained & offering extra textures of more ambient sounds to help the shadings of the other elements.

I suppose a big question is whether the performance Chantelle gives vocally on this version is superior or not to her first one, given the fact that it's inherently very different: this time much quieter and held on a leash compared with her trademark style. I honestly don't think that's a valid question really & certainly I'm neither prepared to nor interested in passing judgement. The whole points I think here are firstly that the band quite clearly feel that they have written a song (alongside Stephen A. Quinn) which is capable of different interpretations & that she has both the skills & taste to vary her approach to reflect that. Yes, one of the major calling cards of The Rising is Chantelle's immense power in singing & delivering high octane performances, but it's also worth commenting on her range of abilities and in the long run, the chance to deliver a diverse range of sounds is going to be much more useful to the band and their career.

I've certainly commented on her ability to vary how she sings in previous reviews and this to a large degree is encapsulated in the whole EP: as you will have seen from the songs to date, the collection is intended to demonstrate a range of abilities and interests and deliver a varied listening experience rather than several homogenous tracks. For example, this song could barely sound more different to its immediate predecessor "Highway To The Lost & Found", though one other theme of the EP is their interest in getting more and more into challenging lyrical territory. One issue I suppose that this approach will generate is the one we find ourselves contemplating today: subtle & mature lyrics may well create situations where they can be approached from different musical angles. Certainly the words of "You Had It All (Reimagined)" lend themselves really well to both arrangements which the band have shared.

Created at their own Renegade Maverick Studios, "You Had It All (Reimagined)" was mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Rolling Stones, The Killers, Snow Patrol etc).  It can be pre-ordered via this link: https://slinky.to/YouHadItAllReimagined and there is a teaser trailer here: https://youtu.be/QMgWIgNoYAo

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"You Had It All" by The Rising

Review

That marvellously prolific band The Rising (Chris Logan & Chantelle McAteer) are continuing their highly commendable campaign to not let COVID19 derail the momentum of their career and despite having to relocate for the duration, they are maintaining their plan to create & share new material every month to six weeks.

Next up in this strategy is perhaps their most ambitious project since the pandemic started: a five track EP of original material entitled 'No Hope Without Love', with each component song being released as a single in its own right every three weeks (their first release since "Ain't Nobody Got Me Here But Me")

The first of these will be "You Had It All" and it will be out on  23rd April. Yet another first for the band who seem avidly intent on a voyage of self development as a musicians, as not only is the song a collaboration with Northern Irish singer-songwriter Stephen A Quinn, but he also duets with Chantelle on the recording (which as you might imagine had to be put together from a prudent distance, including Chris Brush contributing drums all the way from Nashville). It is also the multi talented Stephen's artwork which graces the single.

I have waxed about Chantelle's magnificent (and sensitive) vocal stylings & abilities many times in the magazine, so it's intriguing to hear what they sound like alongside those of someone else: frankly I wondered if anyone had the voice to duet effectively with her. However it certainly justifies the musicians' decision to venture the experiment. Stephen's voice naturally is very different to Chantelle's and his approach (on this song at least) equally so: which makes sense as basically the tale is of a romantic break up told from the different perspectives of the people involved, so you would want clear contrasts between them as they tell their stories to each other & to us. However, the voices join together regularly & harmonise effectively, each taking different tones & pitches so they complement yet remain clear to hear.

What struck me most emphatically however was the overall sound of "You Had It All". As you'll know from my previous reviews, while remaining loyal to their love of country, The Rising rarely offer two similar stylings in a row & not only fully explore the breadth of the "country" genre and its departures into rock & pop, but often go so far from this starting point that it's hard to call it country at all. In this case, we are definitely more into a softish rock area & I couldn't help but think of Fleetwood Mac: the sound, the harmonies, how Chantelle on this occasion seems to be channelling Stevie Nicks and even the lyrics which are in prime 'Rumours' territory.  

Yet another triumph for the Rising who once again show just how broad their tastes are & how they have the chops to pull off music from across a broad spectrum: and as with all their work, I want to make it clear that this does not come across as some sort of exercise in technical experimentation, but a another in their long line of warm narratives told with sympathy for the protagonists.

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From the back catalogue