George Mallas’ third full-length collection Let the Day Decide continues delivering the New Yorker’s unique blend of the personal touch along with a steady influence of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Elton John, and others of that particular school. The melodic and detail-laden songs are testaments to the intense presence music has in the songwriter’s life; he’s also a member of The Four Horsemen Songwriters musical troupe alongside contemporaries such as Dave Goldenberg, Mike Latini, and David Ray.
This is a solo album, obviously, but comes off like a collaborative affair. Let the Day Decide opens with “Shine”, a joyous expression of music’s liberating power and an excellent way to launch the album from its starting blocks. It has great energy without ever losing its meaning in the din. I greatly enjoy the message he’s communicating with this song and the vocals are full of the needed feeling to make it all the more convincing.
“History” will garner a lot of fans. It isn’t surprising that Mallas has included a duet on the album. The interplay he shares with the guest female singer, Mallas has worked with more than one on his previous solo albums, suggests he should do more of this sort of thing. He has an emotive voice ideal for linking up with a talented female singer and, especially during a song about inter-relationship strife like this, it packs quite a wallop.
There’s a little bit of everything making its way into Mallas’ work. “Go and Behold” even has a dollop of chorus singing on an enormous scale and the production captures it with ethereal clarity. He’s careful, however, to never risk overkill with such fare. There’s an assortment of textures defining this song and they seamlessly flow into one another without ever feeling pasted together.
“Chasing Rainbows” is practically a mini-pop symphony, another undisputed high point for the collection, and shows another lyrical side listeners will appreciate. His scorn can be every bit as memorable as his gentleness though one can never be sure who his target is. There’s a dazzling assortment of twists and textures present in this song as well, but there’s a core that holds everything together.
Listen to Let the Day Decide on Spotify. George Mallas · Album · 2022 · 10 songs.
The bold and brassy horns of “It’s Lost” give a resounding oomph to what initially sounded like another piano ballad. If anything, Mallas doesn’t diversify this album enough as he has both the songwriting and musical chops to take his art wherever he likes. It’s songs such as this that hint at the full power of his songwriting potential.
We mark an end to things with the title song and he adheres to essentially the same template underpinning his previous success. “Let the Day Decide” glitters, however, thanks to the production’s emphasis on the piano and its warm across-the-board snap. It’s an absolute joy hearing these songs, along with everything else. I hope to hear more soon. The tradition he’s working in is one that’s a longtime personal favorite and what Mallas is doing qualifies as far more than loving pastiche. He’s invigorating that aforementioned tradition with Let the Day Decide and I expect future releases to further advance his songs and music.