EP Review

EP Review: Black Box // Rodney Eldridge

Discovering a natural talent for music quite early in life, US-based Rodney Eldridge has art running deep in his veins. As a singer-songwriter, he has a bit going for him but that isn’t the beginning and end-all of his skills. After attempting college, Rodney pursued a career in television as a film and TV producer; however, there was always something lying beneath the surface. Rodney shares that “…there was always this undercurrent that I was supposed to be doing something different, that this really wasn’t my life”. One day he found that calling and his life as a singer-songwriter began.

Featured on The Other Side Reviews, Indie Top 39, Audio Femme, Rising Artists Blog, Buzz Music and several online radio stations/playlists, Rodney is reaching audiences on an international scale. The latest addition to his critically acclaimed discography is Black Box.

Following his well-received debut ‘The Weight’, Black Box is a melting pot of pop, folk and indie-pop. Influenced by the likes of Foy Vance and Ruston Kelly, Rodney shows a soothing simplicity in his music – it is this soothing simplicity that showcases true beauty in his sound. What I find is that the tracks may be languid, but there is a juxtaposition between the tumultuous lyricism and charming melody which is quite refreshing. It is this contrary soundscape that showcases Rodney’s depth.

“One day, I found myself alone driving in my car. My marriage was effectively over, I had no place to live, I was questioning my relationship with the God that I’d grown up with and realising that the decisions that I was making would likely alienate me from a lot of people in my life…I felt like a weight was off my shoulders like I could finally be that person that I was meant to be.” – Rodney Eldridge on Black Box

Intimate with a personal narrative, the songs on Black Box is a dip into Rodney’s own “…Pandora’s Box”. Dissecting the last decade of his life, Rodney explores all emotions and experiences taking listeners along on the journey. Piano-driven, ‘Come Here To Talk’, ‘Am I Too Late?’ and ‘Other Side’ has a chilling sensation behind the tender lyricism. Yet, Rodney showcases his versatility with the guitar-led single ‘The Weight’ which is not upbeat but has a different ambience about it.

It’s easy to describe EPs or albums in one word. I might call Black Box interesting, intriguing, engaging and inviting but that doesn’t do it justice. Rodney bares his soul in this acoustic-influenced release and a simple adjective is not enough. I have always referred to music as either “feel songs” or “word songs”, Black Box needs to be felt to understand the sentimentality and heartbreaking intensity of Rodney’s sound.

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