ESP Evolution speaks truth to power on the highly personal “Growing Up”. With a video that further emphasizes the unequal way children grow up, one’s environment can dictate the opportunities available. Lyrics really do rest front and center of the entire thing. By wrapping them in an updated soulful style at times ESP Evolution taps into the vein of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?”. Through highlighting the injustice and warped distribution of resources, ESP Evolution shows exactly all the additional obstacles that those who grow up less privileged face. Drawing from small video vignettes of parents playing with their young ones, of encouraging them to rise above their circumstances, the whole of the song gains a rather hopeful air, a desire to truly excel.
Everything gets filtered into the mix almost immediately. Stylistically the track draws from hip-hop, R&B, and a bit of soul. Including a bit of a faded take on the color, the video perfectly matches the level of nostalgia that the song incorporates. When the vocals enter into the mix things truly get started. Over the course of the track the lyrics focus upon a life fully lived, the ups and the downs that make it all truly worthwhile. A sense of compassion further adds to the emotional heft of the mix.
Letting a whole slew of photos come into the video emphasizes exactly how many children are left behind, are given the wrong message. Even with caring, devoted parents the societal pressure and the awfulness that comes with such inequality can hold many potential people back. Confidence begins to grow, as the message shows exactly how to defy those odds, to become something exceptional. The arrangement’s tonal shifts further highlight this point, of refusing to be pigeonholed as disadvantaged but rather to be someone surprising, a truly remarkable spirit.
On “Growing Up” ESP Evolution goes for a thoughtful, poignant take on how difficult circumstances can be for so many, yet the love of family powers through so many different struggles.