Brielle Von Hugel – “Stronger” FT B.o.B, (Exodus and Sweet & Sour Remix)


Brielle Von Hugel takes a quantum leap forward with her latest single “Stronger” (Exodus vs. Sweet and Sour) and there’s no looking back from this point onward. She’s drafted talented rapper B.o.B. to aid her in getting this song over but, frankly, it only sweetens an already delectable stew. “Stronger” is the sound of an artist on a sharp upward trajectory and her talents are growing exponentially with each new release. Hugel has the sort of performing confidence we typically associate with much more seasoned singers and there’s never a moment in this outing when she doesn’t sound utterly convincing and completely in charge of her musical destiny. It’s the sort of confidence that has propelled her to numerous television and press appearances as well as collaborations with other prodigious talents like Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. “Stronger” finds Brielle Von Hugel stronger than ever, both as an entertainer and an artist, and her climb towards greater and greater prominence continues unabated.

The music gives Von Hugel a memorable launching pad and it only improves as the song goes on. There isn’t just one approach here, one slant on the theme, and Hugel’s musical collaborators opt for orchestrating the song in compelling ways that are never inevitable or predictable. The various electronic flourishes are quite compelling but never overdone and add even more flair to a colorful arrangement. The song’s four minute running time is just the right duration and there isn’t a single extraneous passage to be discovered in the entirety of the track. There are moments when it achieves high-flown electronic crescendos while it also shows the wisdom to pull back at key points and adopt a more bare bones, muted style that gives hip hop artist B.o.B. an ideal background for him to lay down his lyrical magic. The musical arrangement comes to a satisfying ending.

The lyrics show the same focus and deal with the song’s theme of survival and coming out of periods of struggle stronger than before with clarity. Hugel never goes in for cheap moments and, instead, employs percussive words and sharply honed observations to make maximum impact. Hugel’s vocals range from brief moments of understatement to a full on bellow and she’s completely invested in the performance with a passion that few vocalists can match, veteran or otherwise. There’s no hesitancy, no wavering in her push to communicate the reality of her experience to the audience. “Stronger” is the story of one person coming through trials and obstacles, but being wiser for the experience. The great talents she’s surrounded herself to pull it off never steal the spotlight from Hugel’s central role and they work together with great chemistry and a freshness that will allow listeners to return to this track time after time and derive pleasure and value from each visit. Brielle Von Hugel’s star continues to rise with each new release and this is the peak of her outstanding career so far.


Joshua Stryde