Led by a soft lead vocal from Stringz EMB, the new single and music video “Perfect” doesn’t blend R&B and melodic hip-hop together in the same style as so many other tracks have this season. Instead of emphasizing tempo or even tone, the dexterity of the verses and the moderate surrealism of the instrumentation wind up taking the lion’s share of the spotlight in this performance, ultimately leading a critic like myself to deem Stringz EMB a brooding alternative songwriter who can be as flexible as any of his harmonies are. He definitely shows off some depth here, and it’s not the sort that I typically come across in this job.
Right off the bat, the angst in the vocal is really obvious in this single, but it’s ironically broken up by the narrative presented to us in the verses. The somber undertow beneath the poetry here is more in the style of soul music than it is anything in the emo-inspired new wave of cloud rap and progressive R&B charting well this December, and he couldn’t have picked a better beat to complement his storytelling.
While he’s still very much a young artist navigating a complicated and unconventional time in the history of pop, Stringz EMB has wisdom and a lust for understanding that makes his songwriting really inviting and familiar.
“Perfect” is almost as good as its title implies it could be, and even after a few listens it retains the same chills-inducing energy it offers in any virgin listening session. This is undeniably the best material that Stringz EMB has experimented with since first coming onto the scene back in 2016, and while he’s cut a handful of songs in 2020 that I would recommend listening to in addition to this track, “Perfect” undisputedly has the right beat to start with.