Bunny Sigler – Stand Up
The closing song from his latest album Bundino, “Stand Up”, is one of the best singles longtime Philadelphia vocal legend Bunny Sigler has yet released/ Co-produced with Noisette “Saint Man” St. Jean Jr, this confection ends his album on a memorable note and proves to be, arguably, the best choice for a single release at this time from the album. “Stand Up” emerges into a world fraught with difficulty, bloodshed, and oceans of misunderstanding separating people, but the song’s positive message and enthralling musical landscape perhaps serves as a sort of balm for current tensions. The crisp sound, stellar instrumentation, and Sigler’s confident hand guiding it all sets this single up in a great position to succeed.
The song opens with a gentle rave-up of sorts before launching into its groove. The groove is quite strong, but its lightly stated – there’s no need for a thunderous backbeat here or some immense rhythm section to drive the train. Sigler is the undisputed star of the show musically and vocally despite ample backing and double-tracked vocal support. The layered mood created by the production gives Sigler’s song an ideal sonic forum to get itself across to the listener. There are no abrasive surfaces. Instead, Sigler’s voice glides gracefully over the deliberate groove, and he is able to emote with ease while still covering the song’s basics.
The players never overstep their role. The musical approach to “Stand Up” embodies the idea of musicians working to serve a song rather than angling for a spotlight moment when they might upstage their peers. This unified approach to writing and recording traditionally produces music that lasts much longer than showier pieces where individual egos are at loggerheads and anything of true quality emerges in spite of itself. The groove is unwavering. Sigler’s deft and confident phrasing delivers the song’s hopeful and resolute message without ever overshadowing it and, instead, lending dramatic weight to Sigler’s already considerable presence.
One might expect Sigler, after his long career, to betray his age in the recording. This isn’t the case. Sigler, perhaps inspired by the song’s message and first class backing he’s provided, soars through the song’s lyrics and musical changes with the freedom and verve of a man decades his junior. The effortlessness he brings to the song is, undoubtedly, the product of studio time and years of experience, but like the greatest singers, Sigler’s best performance of the vocal has all the spontaneity and off the cuff joy of a first take.
“Stand Up” will remind Bunny Sigler and R&B fans what it is about this music that drew them in at the beginning. Those encountering Bunny Sigler’s work for the first time will, undoubtedly, marvel at how one of the genre’s legendary vocalists still puts other singers much younger to shame on multiple levels. Ultimately, they will be united in their considered opinion that “Stand Up” represents one of the best R&B derived singles of 2016 and a fine representation of the best American popular music has to offer.