“When you walk in everything that’s dark leaves / Your like brown red yellow gold leaves / Pedals of your heart is a mystery / When it’s so cold baby you the sunbeams,” we’re told by a soft, bittersweet vocal in the first couple of lines in Neon Dreams’ “This is It.” As poetically endearing as these verses are, they’re just a limited preview of what’s about to come roaring out of the stereo in the next few minutes of play; in their latest single, it can be said that Neon Dreams sound like a band on a mission. They’re out to make a vintage pop style great again, and in my view, they’re doing an amazing job in this single.
Beyond the lyrics in “This is It,” the musical intrigue created by the instrumentation is absolutely an agent of physicality from start to finish. There aren’t any elements within this mix that feel as though they were added last minute – on all fronts, this piece sounds like something that was carefully planned out from the beginning, as it alludes to complexities in this band’s artistry that might not have been as easy to hear prior to the release of this latest song.
There isn’t any fluff on the instruments or the vocal in this track; contrarily, I think it’s pretty clear that Neon Dreams are going out of their way to preserve the integrity of the organic melodies in “This is It” by going as barebones with the actual meat and potatoes of the single as possible. They don’t need to employ the services of some ridiculously expensive recording software here – they’ve already got everything they need as it pertains to making a memorable sound, and that’s obvious in the moments that immediately follow their beginning to play this number.
This is probably one of the most conservative basslines I’ve heard in a pop ballad of the more grandiose variety in a long time, but it fits in with the melodic hook created by the foundation and the guitar rather perfectly. Excess is usually best left on the sidelines in most genres of music, but when it comes to pop, a heavy layering of attributes can serve a sound quite well – just not in this case. Neon Dreams know their limitations, and they’re not trying to breach them too explicitly in this fine addition to their young discography.
Fans of pop ballads would be hard-pressed to find another single quite like this one in what remains of the spring of 2023, and to understand what I mean, I recommend checking it out as soon as you’re able to. For all of the talk about pop being dead and buried – an argument I grew tired of some twenty years ago – there are still a lot of duos trying to do what they need to in order for pop to remain somewhat dominant in the world of pop music, and for evidence of as much, go see Neon Dreams.