Scene and Heard – CCCLXX: I Want You Back  – Sophia Evangelina (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Front_FinalSomeone wise once said that if you can strip a song down to just an acoustic guitar and it still makes an impact then it is a good song. That’s the acid test really, that underneath all the studio trappings and sonic embellishments, is the structure of a song sound enough to survive such a make-under. We all know that I Want You Back, the iconic Jackson 5 number, is a good tune but Sophia Evangelina shows that even as a funky acoustic busk it sounds as sharp and sassy as ever.

The first thing that strikes you is the seeming disparity between the impressiveness of her vocal and her young age, she sings with a power and a confidence of someone much older and the clean-limbed nature of the song means that it frames this vocal talent rather than competes with it. And with only an acoustic guitar, courtesy of Val Gaina, to accompany her, the result is a wonderfully fresh re-working of a song which already comes with large amounts of fun and infectiousness.

The video is largely filmed in the sun and surf of Venice Beach, a place with the right mix of colourful characters, creativity and coolness to make the perfect backdrop and the result is a visual display that feels as much like a holiday video diary as it does a music promotion, a natural collection of memories rather than a storyboarded and invented piece of work.

This single is the perfect calling card for her soon to be released album of covers, Butterfly, which in turn will surely raise more than a few eyebrows at the levels of accomplishment attained at such a young age. And whilst an album of covers is a perfectly sensible way to kick-start a pop career, I for one cannot wait to hear where her music goes once she is peddling her own creations. Exciting times indeed.

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About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
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