This is one of the most oddly endearing and affectionate songs I’ve ever heard. Some might find it initially off-putting that someone has devoted this much time to penning, recording, and releasing an ode to some distantly iconic pop singer like Taylor Swift. Ossy O’Neal, however, has responded to Swift’s public and performing persona in such a way that it has stirred something very pure and devoted in his heart – so much so that he’s written a song about his love and even goes so far as to offer his hand in marriage. This unabashed plea is fully in keeping with the young O’Neal’s admirable insistence on following his own path and served well by the 20 year’s old prodigious talents as a singer, songwriter, and producer. This talented athlete opted to pursue his first love, public performance and music in particular, and has filled a variety of roles during his artistic journey. He’s found his truest calling, however, as a singer and writer who is capable of expressing himself indelibly and with surprising intimacy.
The compelling array of vocals he brings to bear and imaginative percussion are the basis of the song’s strength, but other surprising instrumentation makes appearances and some sparkling piano lines underpin it all. O’Neal incorporates some interesting keyboard textures as well that provide a lot of additional color to the piece. His voice cuts through the sonic landscape and has a clear emotive strength that makes his emotional outpouring all the more impressive. The vocal melody certainly has the ability to reach out and sweep listeners up into its passion. As mentioned in the introduction, one might ask themselves how a young man ends up focusing so much of his heart’s energy on someone clearly unlikely to ever return that affection, but it’s clear O’Neal doesn’t care and it isn’t the point for him. The point is that O’Neal is engaged with his heart and willing to share his vulnerability with a world of music listening strangers.
The Alabama born singer has a classic soul voice and the instincts of someone doing this for two decades or more. He knows when and just how hard to push his voice towards the song’s emotional crescendos and plays his instrument off quite nicely against the backing track. It’s equally obvious he possesses the multi-faceted talents necessary for pursuing a variety of musical directions and has the exceptional taste of an experienced singer to keep things between the lines and use his strengths in a particular area to the best of his ability. “Taylor Swift’s Stairway” is a powerful love song quite unlike any you’ve heard in 2017 or, for that matter, recent memory and underscores what a truly unique talent Ossy O’Neal is and how he’s just barely scratched the surface of his enormous potential. He’s hit upon a winning subject here that not everyone is used to and gets it over with listeners through sheer force of artistry and skill.