Robert Boog – Elephant
Robert Boog’s album Elephant is a testament to the power of creativity. As a non singer and non musician, Boog is to be credited for having, against all odds, carved a way forward to spend time songwriting and sourcing musicians and singers to perform his compositions.
Robert Boog’s sourced singer Phydra brings a fragile naivety to the songs found here – ‘Flowerr’ comes over as a kind of Moldy Peaches type ballad, with a cute tweeness to it, and it’s all kinds of adorable.
Opening with ‘Digital Photograph’, the lo-fi production starts the whole album off in an unassuming manner that suits Robert Boog’s lyrics perfectly, while ‘Elephant’, the album’s title track is curiously cryptic and musically restful, as if played outdoors during a camping trip with a group of close friends.
‘Gift Of Love’ even sees Phydra’s vocal veer in the direction of Adele, the melody ebbs and flows, taking the listener on a journey of mystery that continues to match the song’s intriguing lyrics, while ‘Puzzle Piece’ is the kind of tune that gets firmly lodged in your head, and it’s hard not to sing or at least hum along to its warm and breezy tones.
There are some softer moments to be found on Elephant. ‘Ray’ is a delicate and laid back track filled with a sense of calm, and ‘Ruby Ring’ is the kind of song that would fit perfectly on an indie movie soundtrack such as Juno or Garden State.
There are moments of surprise to be found as well. ‘Secret Love’ sees AntV take the album in a change of direction, with a more R&B vibe and electronic drums and synths that sits strangely amongst the other tracks, but it manages to stand up as a strong track in its own right.
Phydra’s vocals return on ‘The Path’, a heartwarming and soulful song which shows off her vocal ability very well and continues to point towards Boog’s ability to pull together a collection of songs with vision and confidence. ‘Wait4U’ pushes even more emotion into the performance, with a voice at times on the edge of cracking under its own fragility, Phydra enunciates and stylises in intriguing ways.
Elephant closes with two hip hop tracks performed by JaLuvdaPrince, ‘Winning Time’ and ‘Xmas Baby’. The vocals are less strong on these tracks and it could be said that they let down the overall flow of the album. The tunes themselves are strong, with some engaging chord sequences, and ‘Xmas Baby’ tells the sad tale of one born on Christmas day, having their own celebration overshadowed by the holiday season. In many ways this is the kind of song that should be given a major campaign in December to be pushed for the next Christmas number one. It would sit very well on any Christmas compilation and asks all kinds of questions about why we celebrate the way we do, and how cultural traditions can have the potential to take away the sense of uniqueness for an individual.