It Ain’t Right — Christine Ariya (Music Video Review)

A first music video is certainly an important impression, I’m here to be as impartial as possible about both the audio and visual sides of that equation. Let’s click play.

Opening on a cityscape that looks like LA. Interesting font choice for her name, a bit edgy for an RnB singer, no? Twinkling rhodes panning through both speakers goes on the list of “Oh Gosh Signatures”. “Sun is beaming in my eyes.” A nice horn stab to start us off and here comes Christine, smoother than driving on the 210 in 2004. She’s all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, he’s over here accusing and confusing. Where did it all go wrong? Tsk tsk. I like this narrative she’s building.

Oh, the hook is HERE lol. The layered harmonies are warm and foundational. I feel like the lack of a love interest in the video is disappointing. I know it’s a pandemic, but this song exudes an energy that should certainly be reciprocated in person, if nothing else than for the sake of the audience. “Darkness caught me by surprise, it’s closing in and I can’t feel your light.” Whoever this head ass debutante is, it sounds like he’s more grief than he’s worth. And a nice change of scenery to a luminescent alleyway at night, letting the lyrics take the lead.

This video is kinda distracting and non-complementary I feel. Why is she singing in front of a Jeep? Many of the visual effects would make more sense for a Lyrical Lemonade cut rather than a downtempo soul record. The extended second verse is a welcome change of tempo. Chorus is back and there’s a little more OOMPH to the stacks this time.

Ayeeee, a fucking bridge! A much-neglected apparatus in modern music. Always welcome. The build is nice as their estrangement has meddled into its peak, certainly. “Cause what he won’t see, he found in me.” The confidence in her voice betrays the un-assuredness in the writing. A bit upsetting that the hook comes back without any vocal accouterment (runs, ad-libbing, etc.) Still nice to listen to though. Oh, there it goes! Shoulda led with this riffing, woulda brought the composition to a head MUCH better. The instrumentation slowly fades out into a (somewhat) unresolved resolution.

As a debut single, “It Ain’t Right” is leaps and bounds ahead of many an independent artist, in both musical stature and presentation. The glossy Oh Gosh production paired with her sultry alto timbre is a great combination. However, the simplistic visual adds little and the safety of her vocal performance doesn’t inspire a repeat listen. The whole is equal to the sum of its parts and I expect a more cohesive release for her subsequent single. It aint right, but if she keeps this up, it will be.

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