The standalone capacity of music to pull the listeners into a new place of mind is second to none, and this goes well beyond the powers of mainstream contemporary music. And when the lyrics are themed upon God, and the theme explores the personal in detail, that is when the magic really happens as evidenced by California-based singer-songwriter Samona with her latest, titled 'All On The Line.'
In the key of B minor, "All On The Line" blends Gospel, electro-pop, and ambient cinematic elements in a purposeful way. The lyrical theme is a raw portrayal of choosing to stick with God no matter what. Themes like these, with their excellent arrangements, effortlessly create their own space, drawing listeners into a powerful and regal experience. The stirring lines, such as "I've never seen You before, but I can feel You close," and the thought-provoking "For the mystery within our souls are like whispers that breathe from above," penned by Samona and Billy Smiley, add relatability to the song. A crucial element infusing genuine ambient life into this track is the melodic topline, skillfully crafted using the pure pentatonic B minor scale. Samona, with her electrifyingly glassy timbre, delivers vocals that immediately evoke visuals of an otherworldly emotion in the listener's mind. This effect is heightened by the stunningly executed pedal notes, strategically emphasizing the lyrics at precise moments. The pristine brilliance with which this is accomplished elevates the entire song to a new level. The arrangement and instrumentation shine with exceptional writing and performance. Notably, the alternating emphasis on textures, such as the synth in the verses and the piano in the chorus, played by Blair Masters, along with the electric guitar complementing the vocal topline, displays a level of artistry and intelligence. Credit is due to Jonathan Crone for his outstanding mix engineering, creating an aural universe where each instrument has its space to shine individually and collectively. The reverb engineering, especially at the pedal notes, adds an uplifting aura, defining the song as a hallmark of the finest ambient/cinematic pop music ever created.
At a duration of six minutes and forty-six seconds, "All On The Line" is, without question, already in line for one of the best tracks written this year or the past. One would not be surprised if the listener, like me, would have felt disappointed if the song's duration were even a second less. Each and every moment of "All On The Line" is worth savoring to the hilt.
Samona is a multi-talented Contemporary Gospel vocalist and singer-songwriter born in Oakland Ca and raised in Sacramento Ca. Inspired by her relationship with God who has brought her through a plethora of adversities, the enigmatic singer-songwriter uses her music as a vehicle to express her perspectives and tell stories. Her overarching ambition is completely encapsulated in the title of her first EP – “Encouraged To Inspire”. Though drawing influences from old-school artists like Mississippi Mass Choir, Daryl Coley, John P. Kee, and Kirk Whalum, as well as Opera and Classical music, Samona is anything but old school, as she epitomizes the daring borderless creativity of the innovating new wave of musicians. Written by: Jacob Aiden