HomeMusicRedray Frazier’s “The Real Thing”

    Redray Frazier’s “The Real Thing”

    Redray Frazier’s second single for NYC-based indie label Greystone Music Group, “The Real Thing”, further fuels the re-emergence of a time-tested talent. The New Jersey native, now based in Portland, Oregon, has spent time on major labels during previous iterations of his career, played in Talkin Heads co-founder and songwriting legend David Byrne’s touring unit, and opened for heavyweights such as Ben Harper and Lenny Kravitz. The underlying grip on fundamentals supporting all his work, reaching back years, doesn’t limit him. It frees him to create music that’s as contemporary and timeless as anyone else out there today and the effortlessness with which it seems to flow from him is a hallmark of the greatest performers.


    Let us not drape him in laurel leaves just yet. As fine as “The Real Thing” is, we’ll get to that in a second, it’s clear he hasn’t reached his peak yet. “The Real Thing” does sound like a musician, songwriter, and performer who is ramping up to burning as hot as he ever will, however, and the remaining question will be for how long. It’s impossible to say. The wonderful part about it all, however, is that we get to hear every second he chooses to release.

    He has mastered multiple styles. “The Real Thing” juggles rock, soul, R&B, funk, and even gospel in a slinky and assertive concoction. Frazier has a wide audience of potential listeners for this, and it can play on the radio. Of course, there’s no sense of him trying to pander to any specific group of listeners. You hear a musical artist who’s always trying to find a home for his music with the biggest audience possible. If they have ears, let them listen.

    The stinging guitar will make a lot of ears happy. Frazier may label himself a rock and soul troubadour, but a lot of people are going to hear funk throughout his guitar playing. There’s rock there, yes, but it’s far from the song’s dominant voice. This is part of his aesthetic, however. Redray Frazier has a lot of reasons why he’s finding an audience and one of the best and truest is because he doesn’t give audiences just one thing, but several instead, and all of them equally well.

    We need more of this these days. An artist who provides us with a fully immersive musical experience without some ham-fisted agenda, pollical or social, that they’re trying to ram down our throats. The intelligence driving this performance is clear as well. Redray utilizes every second of the song for maximum effect and you never hear any instance with even a suggestion of coasting.

    It is an excellent second single and promises more to come. Redray sounds like he can take on any style and it is a no-brainer to expect he’ll be even more exploratory with future releases. There’s everything you could want here with “The Real Thing”, however, and it’s just waiting for you to listen. Make sure to turn it up loud. 

    Trace Whittaker

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