An iconic artist is one who is always getting better with each piece of material they produce, and as a critic I’m reminded of this immediately when watching the music video for Jeremy Rice’s “Underneath the Ground.” Released this February to mostly positive review from the press, “Underneath the Ground” invites us into a dreamy world that blends live action bits with animated frills, leaving behind the bare feel of previous releases by Rice completely. This is a full-color graduation into the higher class of players he’s been dying to join, and it couldn’t have come at a better time than the present.
Compositionally, I think “Underneath the Ground” is far more mature than the much-discussed “Arriianne,” and not because of its rebellious tonal presence and visually-appealing music video alone. This just feels more personal to me, more vulnerable on the part of Rice, and I would say that in the grander scheme of things it demonstrates more of his talent beyond the vocal virtuosities so many critics have already praised prior to now. I get the idea this track was more about showing us some intellectual prowess, and in that regard it’s easily the new high mark in Jeremy Rice’s career.
I think it goes without saying that this is a singer/songwriter that we all need to be keeping an eye on, and if that wasn’t clear ahead of “Underneath the Ground,” it’s painfully obvious now. Jeremy Rice has a playfulness to his lyricism that often masks some of the pain buried inside of the narrative his music frequently constructs, but in this piece I think the concealment becomes just a bit thinner than it was before. I don’t know what he’s going to do next, but you’d best believe I’m going to be looking for his future work to find out.