- The Magazine
For a genre that is so often synonymous with glitz and artifice, pop has always gotten a lot of mileage as a site for self-expression and vulnerability. As generations of fans and detractors alike would point out, that’s hardly a contradiction — pop music’s mass appeal usually lies in its relatability, serving up universal themes and feelings in a fun, accessible package.
Not all those packages are created equal, however, and every so often we get a standout talent like Philadelphia native Vincint, a one-time contestant on The Four. Having already landed a well-received EP and wide recognition for “Be Me,” the opening song for season five of Netflix’s Queer Eye, the dynamic and charismatic Vincint is once again doubling down on his strengths and baring his soul on his first full-length LP, There Will Be Tears (★★★★☆).
Considering Vincint first rode into the spotlight on a singing competition, it should be no surprise to anyone that the first thing to notice about him is his voice, which shines throughout the album. After the soft croon of the opener “TWBT,” he delivers a gospel-backed anthem “Higher,” setting the tone for tracks like “What If” and “All Over Again,” which channel feelings of regret and loss into soaring hooks. His vocals range from powerful belting to smooth falsetto, to breathy and almost whispered on more subdued tracks like “Loving 88,” and “You,” which opens with a heartfelt voicemail from the artist’s mother.
In one of the album’s best moments, Tegan and Sara provide stellar harmonies on “Getaway,” a song recounting a uniquely and almost impossibly memorable date with someone from out of town. With its deep beat and shimmer, the track itself sounds like something out of a dream. The wistfulness is almost mesmerizing, capturing the feeling of that weird-yet-perfect date so expertly that it manages to feel intimately relatable.
Part of what makes Vincint’s songwriting feel so remarkable is a sense of emotional honesty. He’s hardly the first artist to channel his vulnerability into catchy pop numbers, but the intensity of the feelings he conveys as well as the earnestness in his voice make the journey through his emotional state that much more compelling. Even when channeling heartbreak his music brims with clear-eyed confidence, nowhere more so than on “Kill My Heart,” a defiant, showstopping breakup anthem that also happens to be the album’s most catchy and danceable track.
Although There Will Be Tears was created in a period of intense self-reflection and chronicles Vincint’s grief, trauma, and heartache, it can’t help being an energetic and joyful album. In the end, this is not so much an album about those hard times themselves as it is about the intense relief that comes when you realize that somehow, you’ve made it through to the other side of them. Vincint’s mission, in his own words, is “to make you cry and make you dance,” and with this solid and impressive debut album, he has succeeded at both.
There Will Be Tears is available for streaming and purchase now. Follow Vincint on Twitter at @VINCINT_.
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