A Roller Coaster of Emotions Exposed Posted September 25, 2020 By JoshuaGalla_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need To Know Artist Byron Juane is from small-town Gastonia in North Carolina. He comes from a small town. But, he possesses the talents of a big city superpower. Similar to artist Aaron Cole, Byron has focused on his God-empowered musical talents since preschool. He can play several instruments from piano to trumpet. He remains immersed in a wide variety of soulful sounds from jazz to rhythm & blues to hip-hop. His debut in the Christian Hip-Hop (CHH) and Urban Soul scene dates back to 2015, under the moniker K¥NG.
Byron can effectively articulate his art through lyricism and harmonies. Lately, he's poured his efforts into an emotional outcry attached to his own version of Rhythm & Blues (R&B). His Hopeful Soul EP, released in 2019, is one final product that fits his recent musical vision. Now, he takes you through an emotional journey on his new release, Promise I’m Not Crazy. On the project, Byron unpacks heartbreak, pain, recovery, love, and happiness.
What It Sounds Like A transparent roller coaster of emotion seems to capture the essence of Byron's new EP. Those of us who have fallen in love and developed an in-depth, complicated attachment to a person of interest will directly relate to the EP's songs. Listeners will discover a raw, exposed, and vulnerable version of Byron unseen to date.
“Nice Guy,” the EP's only single, is a theme song for men stuck in the 'friend zone.' The song is also relatable for people who are in a one-sided relationship. The combination of acoustic guitar, bass line, and crazy hi-hats gives the track a crisp, fresh sound.
The bonus track “Gorgeous” is an EP highlight (the song was an instant download for people who pre-ordered the EP). The song is a call of appreciation for the physical and emotional attributes of your female partner or spouse. It’s perfect to play around Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or anytime to reflect how much you love and appreciation that special someone.
Another highlight is found in “Crazy.” Byron speaks on how love may be seen as crazy, especially showing constant expressions of love. Love invokes a certain level of insanity. What we will do or say for a loved one baffles some, intrigues others.
Listeners are treated to a true R&B experience. Echoes of acoustic guitar and keys, harmonic runs, thick bass lines, and enough emotional output to make someone grab a tissue or two.
Spiritual Highlights Anytime I try to pinpoint godly values on an R&B record, the word that comes to mind is integrity. How does the art stack up against who the artist is, was, or strives to become? Most refer to such a genre as grown folk music. As with daily life, people look to Christians to see how they handle challenges, differently than an unbeliever would. I think such applies to this form of musical expression, too.
I grew up as a male in the 1990s where R&B was at an elite level. Now, as a believer, I struggle to find solid R&B from a Christian's point of view. Then, enter Byron Juane. A Christian male shares his personal struggles in finding love and expressing it with a companion. Music like this is needed, as it’s rare in the Christian space.
Best Song On The Record The intimate track “Crashing,” featuring artist itstaylormade, is my favorite song from the EP. It represents the soundtrack for heartbreak. Byron speaks of an emotional high when the relationship is good, but focuses on when the good fades to bad far too quickly. The featured artist chimes in with how heartbreak feels like a crashing wave or slamming the brakes of a vehicle.
Thinking back to relationships pre-marriage, I relate far too easily to the words spoken. I feel many will share in the relation and connect easily to this track. The production, especially the mix, shines brightly throughout as an array of sound links seamlessly together sharing the background to strong, powering vocals.
Final Word Byron's inner exposure through emotion and environmental chaos on Promise I’m Not Crazy is a welcomed spotlight we can all relate to at one point or another in our lifetime. He provides a sense of comfort realizing we’re not alone in our own feelings of being lost, heartbroken, and borderline shattered. Love is a powerful emotion. It can either empower us or destroy depending on the perspective of a given scenario.
As I mentioned earlier, we need more of this in our faith-based space. Since we’re called to be different in every given situation, how Christians handle love and heartbreak is a lonely grey area for most. I thoroughly enjoyed the overall production and sound selection as it fits well with Juane’s emotional outpour allowing his vocals to shine and not feel submerged or drowned out. I hope artists use such an EP as a guide or blueprint to expand on relational love and how believers interact with all relatable situations and emotions.