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Single Review: Christian Parker – “Forever Man”

Glowing with a melodicism that has unfortunately become a bit of a rarity on the mainstream side of the dial in the last ten years or so, the guitar parts that we find inside of “Forever Man,” the new single from Christian Parker, are undeniably the most important component of the harmony that the track is built upon, and even if you’re unfamiliar with this artist’s discography, it’s hard not to notice the amount of skill and experience he brings to the instrumental end of his latest release. Parker is approachable, richly poetic, and exposed in a way that so few players in the pop, indie rock, and adult contemporary genres are willing to be in 2023 here, making “Forever Man” one of the great songs of its kind to debut in the year thus far.

Christian Parker isn’t just showing off his capabilities as a guitarist in this track; truth be told, this is some of the strongest vocal work anyone in his scene has turned in when it comes to Beatles tribute tracks. He’s demonstrated a rather reserved attitude with his verses before now, but that reticence is missing from this composition – in its place, we discover nothing but a willingness to be heard, and a desire to get this narrative across with a serenade as potent as any of the actual words are. Parker is forward and undaunted by the task set before him in “Forever Man,” essentially confirming his status as being among the more elite singer/songwriters in his peer group today.

Concerning the arrangement of the instrumentation in this track, there’s no need to debate whether or not the musicality in “Forever Man” endears itself more to a conservative school of thought than it does the contemporary alternative aesthetic, but I wouldn’t say that the song qualifies as a straight throwback to the end period of the Beatles’ storied history. Parker is giving us a lot of guts where it counts here and simplicity in the compositional framework where it matters the most, and despite the difficulties that come with striking this kind of a balance, he never sounds even slightly unprepared or overwhelmed by the ambitious nature of the music in this single. He’s come a long way since I first came to know his music, and longtime fans will especially appreciate his development.

I only just recently started exploring Christian Parker’s deeper catalog of releases again, but “Forever Man” is unquestionably one of his best Beatles-style songs to hit record stores in the time he’s been back in the spotlight. It’s been said that we’re living in a new renaissance for singer/songwriters, and to some degree, the re-emergence of iconic indie players like this one only makes this theory harder for anyone to dispute. Even if you’ve never heard his music before, I encourage you to get out and acquire a copy of “Forever Man” sooner than later. Beatles and Britpop enthusiasts won’t regret it, and the same can probably be said for anybody who loves a solid, organic melody in general.

Alisa Garza

About Michael Stover

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