With a haunting chime, a sitar ushers us into the opening framework of “Love is Everywhere,” the all-new single from the multitalented singer/songwriter Mark Ambuter. Its lush strings find comfort in a chilling percussive strut that wanders through the shadows in the background, and they are soon accompanied by a glowing guitar that mimics their swaggering melody. Together, all of these instruments start to weave a melodic patchwork that is about to explode in a colorful display of harmonious fireworks that no music enthusiast in their right mind could turn away from if they wanted to. “Love is Everywhere” was composed around a confident pop hook, but don’t be fooled by its simply-structured verses; this is Mark Ambuter at his most calculated and conceptual, and it just might be his most dashing work yet.
As Ambuter begins to croon with a loving tunefulness in his voice, we make our first contact with the pulsating poetry that will transform this single into a soul-affirming powerhouse pop track. Ambuter’s words are touching, inspired by optimism, and chock full of a vibrancy that is contagious to put it mildly. As effervescent and attractive as the verses are, they don’t take anything away from the excellent string play carrying us through the song just beneath the vocal track. Without both of these elements working together in perfect synchronicity, I think “Love is Everywhere” would be a completely different track from top to bottom. The narrative wouldn’t be as emotional, the lyrics not as charismatic, the hooks not nearly as infectious and unforgettable.
The strumming of an acoustic guitar holds everything in place during the breaks between stanzas, and it really lights up the somewhat stock percussive track that hangs over the backdrop. As familiar as the beats may be, it should be said that the drumming has a color all its own in this single that I think really plays well with the other instrumental parts dueling for our affections. Mark Ambuter is known for his keen attention to detail, and to some extent, “Love is Everywhere” is a prime example of his studious approach to making a pop song in the studio. It’s as tight a single as they come, and while it’s streamlined enough to make for a sweet addition to any FM playlist, it doesn’t lack the character or authenticity of a legitimately independent single.
Mark Ambuter reminds us of what really matters most in life in “Love is Everywhere;” family, friends, and more important than anything else, our own happiness. For all the talk about a steady decline in pop songs with cheerful narratives, Ambuter gives us tangible evidence that joy isn’t completely extinct in 2019 here. I really hope that I have the chance to catch him playing live sometime in the near future, if for no other reason than to see and hear how his unwaveringly magnetic energy in the studio translates to the stage environment. If he brings the same level of talent to his shows as he does his singles, then he might just be one of the most underrated singer/songwriters active in the business today.
-review by Scottie Carlito