David Belle Presents New Single ‘Free’

Lou Reed’s name comes immediately to mind while listening to David Belle’s single, “Free.” For starters, Belle mostly speaks the verses of this song, only actually singing during the track’s chorus, which gives it a distinctly Reed-esque vocal vibe. Furthermore, the song’s lyrics offer up character studies of a few people, in much the same way a writer might do so in a book. Reed was outspoken about his goal of putting literature to rock music, if you will. Lastly, the song’s mostly stripped-down electric guitar groove is reminiscent of Reed’s approach to creating music. Therefore, “Free” will remind you of Lou Reed, in all the best ways.

The song, as you might have already figured out, is about freedom. The people in it follow their dreams, instead of trying to live up to other people’s expectations. The first verse details a woman from the West coast who was told “she had to follow their orders.” Clearly a strong-willed woman, she would not, could not do what others told her to do. Soon, she saw another way to live. “So she turned from their grip/And took a one-way trip outa there,” Belle tells us.

The next verse tells us about a guy on the opposite side of the country, an East coast boy living in the “concrete jungle of New York City.” We learn how “he tried to walk the line,” but had a really hard time doing so. It was through visiting other less restrictive places that this guy got the grand idea to roam. Thus, at only 17, he dropped out of school and hit the road.

This song has a happy ending because its third verse tells us these two meet each other on a farm, fall into each other’s arms and at that moment decide to follow their freedom dreams together. The song then just fades out repeating the chorus. It’s played out over a soulful outro, which includes electric guitar soloing and female backing vocals.

Sonically, this track has rather basic electric guitar-driven instrumentation. The verses find Belle ‘singing’ them with an expressive, wise guy kind of vocal. Organ and female vocals join Belle during the choruses. Belle gives his song a cinematic quality. One can picture this story as though it were a love story told on the silver screen. It’s also very much a rock & roll story. Rock music has always had a rebellious streak running through it. Born out of the many times restrictive era of the ‘50s, rock music offered a culture where self-expression could flourish. Young people recoiled at being told what they could and couldn’t do – by parents, teachers and other authority figures – and rock music gave them temporary freedom from such restrictions.


Belle’s story is one that’s been told throughout all time — going way back to Romeo and Juliet. Yes, you can try and tell young people what to do, but don’t be surprised when some of them rebel against you. Belle’s song tells the story of two such rebels. We all know people like them, though, because – for these types– rules were made to be broken. It’s a fine song, that plays out with an obvious ring of truth.

-Dan MacIntosh