Richly melodic but far from the only sparkling gem in the song, Jason Shand’s vocal is a vivid message in itself, even without the lyrics it conveys in the new single “I Know,” declaring freedom from the constraints of conventionality only possible to attain when letting go of past burdens. There’s something really empowering about the way lyrics and music are made to intertwine in this song, but if you’ve ever heard Shan’s work before, you likely came into his latest release expecting as much. I can tell you right now he doesn’t disappoint when it comes to advancing a narrative through rhythm and rhyme in equal doses, and while I just got back into his music recently, it doesn’t seem like he’s lost his edge here at all.
The chorus is the star attraction in nine out of ten pop songs you’ll hear in this lifetime, and I suppose you could say so about “I Know” as well. This isn’t to say Shand isn’t cutting up a lovely lead-in ahead of the hook’s release, but once we’re caught up in the fever pitch of this track, it’s almost as if the last few bars meant nothing at all. This is a player who definitely knows his way around the pop songbook, but rather than simply reheating some leftover licks anyone could redress just to suit their contemporary needs, he’s digging deeper and contributing something that could be just as iconic as anything to have come before it in history.
On the instrumental side of “I Know,” the love the backing band puts into the music isn’t overshadowed by the masterful maneuvering of our leading man at all, but instead made to run in tandem with his verses in the most classical way a track like this can give quarter to. Jason Shand is obviously a student of the old school, but the dexterity of his skillset doesn’t allow for him to lean on the lazier techniques a lot of other singer/songwriters would turn to if tasked with making something even half as ambitious as this single is. He’s tethered his present and future output to a pillar of originality most would feel overwhelmingly pressured by, but to him, I think it’s clear he’s going to be just fine.
I had only listened to a little bit of Jason Shand’s music before I got turned on to his new single “I Know” just this June, but I’m already starting to crave more of his sound. He’s taken his time in creating good music over the past decade and a half, only now preparing to release his second official studio album over fifteen years after dropping his debut EP, but whatever he’s been doing in the meantime has been working too well for him to change things up now. This is a committed artist if I’ve ever heard one before, and he’s providing us with a sound via “I Know” that I think you’d be better off hearing as soon as you get a chance.
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