“Fearless” will not be to everyone’s taste. Few modern music listeners are likely to give a monologue coupled with an accompanying music track any kind of chance. They would be wrong to do so. The monologue and lyric video for Centineo’s new single is the kind of artistic presentation you scarcely encounter today. He’s clearly motivated by something within and seems impassioned in each clip. Even the monologue, despite his understated delivery, comes across as simmering with passion. The monologue examines fear and its video depicts the emotion in various imagery showing how people deal with it. The images are well chosen and its black and white color is appropriate.
The lyric video for the musical track couldn’t be more different. Its swimming variety of colors with the words superimposed over the background catch your eye and you can’t look away. The swirl complements the rousing nature of the track’s lyrics, the storm of emotions arising when someone decides to confront the terror in their heart, and crackles with imagination. I think his writing is some of the finest I’ve heard in recent pop music without attempting to refashion the songwriting wheel. So many songwriters touch on longstanding themes with heavy-handed clichés, but Centineo goes beyond this because he makes things feel so personal.
The electronic music has the same swirling and impassioned effect. Once upon a time synth driven music had a cold sterile sound but technology has buried those prehistoric attempts at electronica with a lush warmth. This track is an ideal example of this change. Centineo has labored long and hard to make this happen and the music has the same cinematic punch as the visual imagery. I cannot help but admire an artist who invests so much of their imagination and time into crafting music like this; it’s a reflection of their commitment to what they want to say.
He doesn’t waste the listener’s time either. The monologue and musical track alike get in and get out without self-indulgence. His production skills are evident as well. I have no way of knowing if this is, essentially, an “one man band”, but the sound of both is clear and captures your attention. There are no lulls in the musical track and the arrangement has no audible holes. His grasp of dynamics is practically theatrical. This is music that moves you, propels you from one section to the next, and has such pleasing inevitability you will be smiling very early. I know I was.
I knew nothing of this artist before hearing “Fearless”. If you are unfamiliar with him, he’s an artist you should become acquainted with today. I feel like he will be around for a long time to come and his fanbase will only continue to grow, especially if he continues to write and record music and writing of this caliber. Centineo’s “Fearless” is a compelling piece of work that doesn’t sound hamfisted or cookie cutter. This isn’t pouring old wine into new bottles. This is new and wonderfully alive.