Ruiz is set to release his latest single, 5 seconds, in early March and we were fortunate enough to have a sneak peak at the song.
For lovers of Madness, or at least their more recent work, this is for you. Ruiz’s voice reminded us very much of Suggs, and there were sections of the overall song that nodded in their direction too. The overall feel of the song felt a little like “Lovestruck”, one of the band’s 90s songs, once they were less ska and more pop. There’s a section around 2m15s where the song breaks down and reminded me of the Madness classic, Our House.
Some beautiful panning of the drums at the start, leading into some really creative work on the drums during the verses. Its almost as if the drummer was given an idea of something basic to play, but just picked it up and ran with it. Some really unique and interesting fills here.
The harmony vocals come in and out and back up the lead vocal very well, giving it just a little more meat, but they’re not the usual “come in for the chorus” vocals – they just boost the lead when its needed, so it keeps you on your toes.
The song maintains interest throughout with changes in instrumentation and some great rise and fall. A radio friendly length, this song has some potential for air play, but it does feel a little more like commercial success would have been likely in the 90s and not so much now. Its not a current sound. That works for me!
I like the contrasting rhythms and patterns of the lead and backing vocal in the breakdown at the end of the song, although it did feel a little like perhaps one voice should have been the dominant one, rather than raising the volume of the backing vocals; of course, just my opinion.
From my own production perspective, I think a high-mid to high boost on the overall track will boost the superb percussion and raise a little sibilance in the vocal track and a slight cut in the low mid range will balance out some of the muddier frequencies.
As huge fans of Madness, this was obviously a big hit with us. It has a real British late 80s/ early 90s feel to it that you just can’t go wrong with.
We give this track 4 ears out of 5