Stephen Babcock | Fight I Need

 
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Family Average: 3/7

This blog does not condone violence. Fighting is never the answer. Use your words, people.

HOWEVER, our old friend Stephen Babcock is a pretty reputable and levelheaded fella. So, we’re gonna let the title of his latest release slide. 

We first stumbled upon Babcock at Rockwood Music Hall many moons ago. A singer-songwriter with his heart on his sleeve, Babcock creates catchy tunes for all you lovers and fighters out there. 

Look below and see what the family had to say.

 
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Beginning sounded classic, a bit Tom Petty. The voice was not what I expected, but nice. I like when I’m surprised. 

In the lyrics he’s actively embracing and even asking for the love of this woman to destroy him. It is such a happy sounding song with some contrasting lyrics. For example he so delightfully and in an upbeat tone sings, “I wanna feel blood between my teeth.” Fun, easy to listen to. 

3/7

 
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This song has that warm summer night comfort to it, with just a hint of the chill of a breeze. Like you're standing outside a bar on an otherwise empty midwestern road. It fits squarely into bluegrass rock, ticking off all the highlights of the style, while allowing itself a bit of wiggle room to be its own thing. Intoxicating femme fatales aren't an uncommon subject, but the juxtaposition of the lyrics' brutal metaphoric imagery and the singer's smooth vocals made for an attention-grabbing combination. But it seems like a lot of the creativity was focused on the refrain. I know that's normally the most memorable part of a song anyway, but the rest of it felt a bit bare-boned compared to it. Even the lyrics become a bit more bland (how many times have we heard a guy say "I'm different / I swear I can treat you right"?) The delivery of the lines does help a bit, the singer has a solid voice and knows his range. At first I thought maybe it could be more emotional, but the more I thought about it I reconsidered. This woman, while an impassioned subject, is still vague and somewhat unreachable and his tone conveys that well.

So yeah this song feels nice. It's a casual listen with just a hint of edge.

4/7

 
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Woah doggy this is a little more pepper than I am used to from this chap. I always love it when an artist introduces a whole new gear that you have yet to see from them. Gone is the Stephen from my mind whispering sweet nothings into my ear while feeding me girl scout cookies. This Stephen comes with aSwiss army knife and one of those cool skull bandanas. Okay maybe this song isn't that hard. Still a strong departure from what I am used to hearing from this artist’s releases.

The message of the song is great, and conjures tons of metamorphic violence. My favorite kind! Building on what Pat Benatar’s had started with her release of “Love Is A Battlefield”. Stephen re opens the book once shut in 1983 to pen some of his own thoughts on the matter. In the track Stephen tackles the brutal nature of love and what it does to our fragile persons. Its loud, but not too loud, solid driving music while you vent your frustrations of the latest heartbreak. Rock on young Stevie!

3/7 

 
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This is a great continuation of Stephen Babcock’s most recent EP, as it follows a similar tenor and is an equally enjoyable listen. He has a great understanding of harmonies and layers his unique vocals, acoustics, and the electric guitar well. The electric guitar carries the song and is honestly the most appealing part of the single for me -- perhaps because it is completely reminiscent of on of my favorite songs, Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watch Tower.” However, Babcock skews in a completely different direction. 

He is a singer-songwriter with a keen sense of what makes a good hook, and infuses his americana, bluegrass, and folk influences with a bit of a pop sensibility. Much of this song follows a similar tenor of acts like Eric Hutchinson and Sara Bareilles -- the message is universal, dealing with the taxing emotions of a romantic relationship, but its handling feels a bit too surface and cliché. I do wish the lyrics dove a little deeper, pulled a few more punches. Nevertheless, Babcock’s got such a lovely persona and sensibility, I can’t not enjoy listening to his work.

4/7

 
Sean Maldjian