William Maselli’s new single “Feeling Good About Us” is a track from his album On the Back Nine, written by Steven Brochu, and the latter plays guitar and bass on the recording as well. Maselli’s classical music inclinations, including a passion for opera, doesn’t preclude the Maine-based vocalist from being a first class pop singer. He’s capable of writing his own material and has a history of transforming his classical material into pop music, but Maselli recognizes a good song is a good song, no matter the writer.
There’s no self-consciousness weighing down this track. Maselli deftly glides from one line to the next, cumulating with the chorus, and the relaxed confidence of his voice inspires the same in listeners. It is familiar terrain, a song about the glow of healthy love, Brochu’s conversational lyrics capture well but there’s a level of fluency present in the words many will appreciate. It isn’t the shallow sort of swooning in newfound love song common to more disposable pop. It’s much more mature and grounded with just as much happiness in its heart.
The alternating swell and retreat of the arrangement matches well with his voice. Maselli is taking a traditional approach with the recording, there’s no ostentatious outside the box musical choices going on here, but it doesn’t lack imagination. The broad and chiming guitar chords running throughout the song are graceful touches that add a lot to the song and he strikes subtle vocal inflections during the cut as well.
“Feeling Good About Us” has a promotional video released alongside the song. It incorporates footage from a variety of sources that Maselli laced together to connect with the song’s lines and themes. It is well-edited and eschews a heavy reliance on typical video tropes though some viewers will wish Maselli had created something more personal. Few, however, will dispute its effectiveness.
Many listeners will respond to its sway-like effect. It isn’t in waltz-time, but the arrangement nevertheless has a lovely talent for scooping up listeners and carrying them away with a luxurious swing. The individual performances are silky smooth yet resonate with authenticity. Nothing sounds premeditated or plotted out. The best songs, for many, are those that come across as spontaneous, as natural as breathing, and that’s what Maselli achieves.
What a welcome breath of fresh air this single is. Many songs released the last two years are bursting with despair, exhaustion, desperation, a ton of complex and often negative emotions bred from the heavy weather of a global pandemic. There’s none of that here. “Feeling Good About Us”, instead, celebrates life with warm optimism that doesn’t sound corny or fleeting. It’s ample evidence that William Maselli has considerable pop gifts deserving the widest possible stage. His album On the Back Nine will, undoubtedly, provide an avenue for him to travel to greater commercial heights than he has known, but that is far from his only goal. The man singing “Feeling Good About Us” is someone who wants to entertain every kind of listener.