Blossoming in real-time like a flower that’s waited more than long enough to show us its colors, Kendre Streeter’s “A Change” rises from the silence in an ethereally surreal harmony that will quickly become the foundation for every exciting moment in the track. The drums come crashing through the mix, lighting a fire beneath the bassline and clearing out some space for Streeter’s voice to dominate the spotlight only moments from now.
Combining the best elements of throwback R&B, melodic hip-hop and contemporary soul into a sonic melting pot isn’t necessarily a new concept, but in “A Change,” it definitely feels and sounds like one of the more refreshing ideas that’s hit my desk in a long time. There are a lot of interesting artists coming up through the left channels of pop music at the moment, but if you’re looking for a sound that will warm your soul as much as it will inspire some optimism in these somewhat bleak times, I would tell you to look no further than this incredibly smooth dispatch from the American underground.
The beat here has a really sexy swing to it, and once it finds a consistent groove around the midway point of the song, it becomes one of the most addictive components in the music. The subtle guitar parts beside Streeter’s lead vocal definitely complement the timbre of his voice perfectly, and were they any louder in the master mix than they already are, I don’t know if they would be as fetching as they are in this minimalistic presentation. The most breathtaking quality about this track is its meticulous arrangement, which allows for our attention to volley between the vocal and the instrumentation on an even pattern, never depriving us of any intricacies within the music.
Lyrically speaking, the narrative in this song is reminiscent of gospel in its potently uplifting tone and stylization, and yet there are no overt references to the God in the verses. Kendre Streeter is working with some holy harmonies that are all his own in this single, and if he’s able to replicate the same passion in future works, he’s going to have a long career ahead of him for sure.
Try as you might, I just don’t think you’re going to find many vocalists that can belt out the kind of soulful melodies Kendre Streeter is this summer. Guided by a backing band that can ignite a seductive blaze even without the help of a talented frontman, Streeter plays the part of a man overwhelmed by creative passion all too perfectly in “A Change.” It’s clear from the start that he’s got a lot invested in the story being told here, but beyond the surface cosmetics of the song,
it’s rather obvious – even to the most undisciplined of critics out there – that Streeter’s heart is in these harmonies without debate. He has a very refined skillset that he’s still growing into, and in time, I think he’ll be able to contend with the best and brightest singers in the game today.