There’s no such thing as having too powerful a vocal for pop; there are only those who use their gifts, and those who conservatively hide them away from the rest of the world, and Diane Gentile is definitely among the former. Her new single with the Gentle Men and Alejandro Escovedo, “Walk With Me,” is a celebration of mindful melodic wit, and although it’s got a lyrical center that lashes us with its originality and honest emotionality, I don’t know that there’s any competing with this young woman’s pipes. She’s got the talent to sing anything she wants; it’s merely ironic that she’s giving up the incredible pop model that she is in this performance over another style of music she’d likely be just as capable of mastering with her voice.
This melody is undeniably a simple one, but the moodiness of the song doesn’t come from the instrumental faceting nor the substance of the lyrics in any capacity. Contrarily, the real emotion in this piece is sourced from the tempo and overall lack of frilly intensity on the front of the mix, the latter of which is becoming an awkward standard in a lot of the mainstream pop music I’ve been listening to in the past eight months. Gentile is giving off a vibe that starts and ends with her manipulation of the Gentle Men’s beat, and despite having plenty to say at the microphone beside Escovedo, she’s most captivating when she’s wrapping her lyricism around a sweet groove, which there are more than a few in this single.
Minimalism exists in the instrumental construct of “Walk With Me,” but I would point out here and now that the song isn’t advertising the kind of bleached, anti-textural expressiveness that has become increasingly present in a lot of indie pop over the last year. If anything, the surreal bend to this track comes from a place of cerebral harmony, in which there’s not as much focus on the cosmetics of postmodernity as there is using the aesthetic to structure this song from the ground up. Diane Gentile doesn’t produce a sound devoid of color in the least, but instead, one that challenges us to embrace its multidimensionality and unlimited presence just beyond the reach of the beat. It’s hard to be this good with so much talent around you, but this player has found a way nonetheless.
“Walk With Me” is quite a sturdy single and an exemplary track in terms of its showcasing Diane Gentile’s potential as a singer and a songwriter, and although it isn’t the first time that I’ve ever listened to this vocalist, I can tell from the depth she’s bringing to the table here that she’s getting even stronger than she was in previous outings. Everything in this track is an extension of its creator and her intentions as a recording artist, and while you could say there’s a lot of quality talent in her scene developing charismatic pop at the moment and be completely true, there aren’t many with the chops to compete with this sound here.