R.W. Roldan “Falling Star”
As aficionados of art, we often take for granted how difficult it can be for a performer who has been around for a while to keep things fresh and original rather than trying the same formula over and over. It isn’t as easy as it sounds; just look at Queens of the Stone Age, one of the most critically acclaimed and musician-beloved rock bands of the last quarter century. I’ve been a devoted follower of everything QOTSA has done since their inception, but what has happened to the Joshua Homme-led band in the last five years has been tragic to watch. In an effort to stay relevant, the band has sunk as low as to pander to the club crowd in hopes of selling a dance rock record that is not only unoriginal but fails to meet any of the expectations that longtime fans like myself were expecting. It’s a sad ending to a band that changed my life and a lot of other people’s, despite never quite cracking the mainstream the way a lot of their fellow alternative rock bands did in the 90’s and 2000’s. Thankfully though, the same ill-fate is not shared by my favorite indie country singer, R.W. Roldan, who isn’t exactly making the most original music in the world, but is at least making something palatable that I can rely on for easy-listening.
I didn’t much care for Roldan’s first album, but I started to come around after he cut his sophomore LP dropped in the subsequent years that followed. Sometimes it takes artists a minute to come into their own, and Roldan has certainly done a lot of growing up as a composer in the last 10 years. Now, his hybrid of blues, country rock and delicate folk music isn’t coming off as choppy as it once did. In fact, his new single “Falling Star” is almost a quantum leap for an artist that I once would have dismissed as part of a dying scene. In “Falling Star,” Roldan delivers what is by far the best vocal performance of his career as a singer to date. Although it’s lacking a little bit on the visionary end, at least for what I feel like he’s capable of, this single is nevertheless a song that tells me that its songwriter might finally be ready for the primetime.
It’s important to give everyone in our lives a second chance to grow and learn from their mistakes and short comings. More often than not, the brightest stars in our life tend to shine the brightest when we give them that space, that room to grow. Whether you’re familiar with R.W. Roldan or not, and especially if you were dismissive of his style in the past, I sincerely encourage you to give his new music a listen ahead of his upcoming fourth full length album, Can You Feel This, which is scheduled to come out later this year. Personally, I’m very eager to hear how his sound continues to come into full color.
YOU TUBE: youtu.be/hUUj8HxHT5E
Photo Credit: Myke Wilken