Souleye feat. Alanis Morissette – Snow Angel
This track has an indescribable, even unearthly beauty. “Snow Angel” is the second single from Souleye’s impending full length release entitled Wild Man and, to this writer’s knowledge, represents his first musical collaboration with the rapper’s wife Alanis Morissette. She contributes some wonderful supporting vocals to Souleye’s typical fluid and appealing hip hop style while the track itself is one of the finest examples yet of the artist’s capabilities in the studio. Producer Crush Effect lends the song added merit thanks to his superb job of framing it in a way that aids Souleye in realizing his creative vision and the running time is just right to ensure maximum impact on his audience. The track chronicles the vagaries of a personal relationship between two people fraught with turmoil, but Souleye’s point of view is in keeping with much of his work – he isn’t ready to give up the ghost and surrender. It’s the same unbreakable spirit that gives so much of his work a brightly burning inner light.
That brightly burning light has a particularly crystalline quality on “Snow Angel”. There’s a frosty, but inviting, beauty in how the combined efforts of Souleye and his creative collaborators structure this song and envelop the vocals in a delicately arranged weave of electronics. The loops and synth melodies are grounded by varied percussion that keeps things in a steady state of percolation from the outset, yet everything remains balanced and focused towards serving the song. In the hands of a lesser artist, “Snow Angel” might sound unduly premeditated or else just outright coy – but in the hands of Souleye and his wife and famed co-vocalist, it emerges from the speakers as a work of art as exquisitely rendered as sculpture. The tempo and mix of instruments is sure to engage listeners and many have already commented that the aforementioned elements are among the song’s strongest qualities.
Souleye and Morissette, on the first high profile collaboration, prove to be a stunning vocal match. His voice, naturally, leads the way, but the juxtaposition of their voices is notable enough that it gives “Snow Angel” two distinct musical faces. Morissette’s voice elevates the already great material another level thanks to the legendary emotional qualities she’s able to bring to bear without ever lapsing into histrionics. The lyrics help set the scene for their success and Souleye proves at least equal to his wife’s emotive edge as he clearly invests himself fully, particularly near the chorus and during the bridge, on conveying the song’s emotional narrative. The final result of all the aforementioned elements adds up to one of the most satisfying musical experiences of this young year and raises expectations for his future release. This is Souleye, arguably, at his finest and hints at an artist working at or near the peak of his considerable powers.