Single Review of beauty is the end: “helplessly hoping”
We’re reviewed the music of bandleader Clint Degan here before, in the role of Body English’s vocalist and guitarist, when I reviewed Stories of Earth. This, however, is a truly original, unique sound worth approaching with a fresh palate, featuring Cullen Corley on percussion and multi-instrumentalist Degan recording the remaining instruments and vocals. So grab some ginger and be prepared for a fresh musical dining experience on “helplessly hoping.”
This song is timeless. But beauty is the end delivers an updated version of this Crosby, Stills & Nash classic. The harmonies are replaced by instruments or perhaps just less volume, serving up a modernized sound, adding a hint of progressive instrumentation, softening the harsh harmonic edges of the original with a thinner, more sensitive vocal line and softened transitions. This version completely changes the feel of the song without touching the main melody, and in the process of modernizing, it actually recalls a completely different set of ’70s bands. Call it a two-way transportation through time, if you want, landing at a different destination.
Whatever it’s quite cool and really pleasant, enjoyable listen, gradually becoming a favorite on my playlist. To be honest, after acclimating myself to the beauty is the end version, I find it hard to listen to the original. I’ve come to expect this version’s softness to the extent that Crosby, Stills & Nash’s harmonies in the original startle me. Yeah, yeah, I know. I should show more reverence to the trailblazers, but I really dig this version. Check it out for yourself.
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