Cristal B’s forthcoming single Bittersweet, due for release on February 11, is a lesson in why you should never upset a songwriter!
This is a confident, girl power anthem that lets the listener know that, despite their recent heartbreak, the vocalist is stronger than ever and ready to take on the world. It’s a very very gentle but powerful “don’t mess with me” statement.
With just vocals and piano throughout the song it still manages to develop well, with the piano being busier and played harder towards the end of the song. I must applaud the piano playing; very gentle when needed and almost an angry defiance in the performance as the song develops.
Lyrically, it’s a subject that’s been done a thousand times, but who hasn’t suffered a break up and needed the ex to hear just how much stronger they’re feeling now. There’s a reason this subject matter is repeated in songs – it’s a universally accessible subject.
I’m drawn in to Cristal’s vocals. She has a beautiful, perhaps classically trained, confidence in the higher notes. Her head voice is world class, as are the occasional breathy moments that she adds in to show vulnerability.
Standing at four minutes and just a voice and piano, perhaps not commercial airplay friendly, but nonetheless likely something to do well on college radio across the US, should her campaign hit the right spots.
Personally, I’d add a little hall reverb to make everything feel a little bigger in this song. Think Bette Midler – Wind Beneath My Wings. I would also suggest quite a large boost in the top and bottom of the frequency spectrum to bring out the warmth in the piano and the clarity and depth in the vocals which are just lost in a few places when the piano gets busier.
Cristal B is someone I will be watching in the future. Classy vocals and tight musicianship make for an enjoyable listen. I’m looking forward to seeing her gain some traction on social media. Best of luck Cristal.
We give this track 3 ears out of 5