Compositional integrity isn’t all that hard to find among modern singer/songwriters; in fact, the wit and wisdom a lot of the young players in and out of both country and pop the same is raising an eyebrow or two among fans and critics alike in the last few years. It’s easy to understand what all the fuss has been about when stumbling across a newcomer like Billy D Rice and his debut single “The One I Love,” which features rapper Brian Bristow in addition to Rice’s country-style crooning. This is an artist who truly knows what it means to have no restrictions, and he’s letting his passions run wild in this noteworthy rookie release.
“The One I Love” is built like an acapella piece from a songwriter’s perspective, only it’s got a lot of added panache through the experimental addition of Bristow that wouldn’t have been present were it produced or even performed under more conventional circumstances. I don’t pick up on even the faintest desire to fit in with the mainstream, aesthetically speaking; the foundation of the melody is just too versatile to fit into any boring box in existence today, and to me that’s far more a positive than it could ever be a negative.
Watch the video for “The One I Love” below
The music video for the song is an energetic throwback to the old school country fun of a bygone era, and because it’s stylized in the fashion of something retro it adds a bit of juxtaposition with the alternative modernity of the music that I love. You don’t have to be unsubtle when creating something multidimensional like “The I Love,” and I would even argue that designing something to include a level of clandestine charm only enhances the intended effect an artist was going for. Rice knew this beforehand, and it shows in his finished product.
You can’t ask for a much better nor a more well-rounded debut than Billy D Rice’s, and if you haven’t already taken a look at it this March I would recommend doing so now. Between the lively sway of Msbluepandora in the music video and the stellar sting of the musicality produced by Bristow and Rice, there’s something for everyone to fall in love with in “The One I Love,” which despite being only our first glimpse at its composer suggests a lot more magic to come from his camp as he continues finding a home in the American underground.