I was just in conversation with other music journalists regarding REAL songs – those with melodies, lyrics, emotion, and a theme – not just sewed-up elements of casual chaos meshed with FX. NO, we were speaking of REAL songs. So, you know I was stoked when I first heard Kendal Conrad’s “Bodyguard.” To put it plainly, it took just three minutes for Conrad to illustrate what a dynamic ballad is supposed to sound like in 2020. In other words, she schooled some folks!
“Bodyguard” opens with peaceful instrumentation that quickly elevates with layers of highlighted synths, brass, and a voice. It has a classic song structure of verse-hook-verse-hook-bridge-hook and keeps a steady melody that is instrumental in evoking contemplation – a perfect anchor for a track with a threading theme of unaccountability – where the protagonist is crying out for a strong shoulder of protection, only to be left with a broken heart. Conrad sings: You never ever watched over me / while you were out it was killing me / never ever thought you’d be the bullet and I’ll be the one who took the hit . . . can’t be safe here in your arms, so I would come to no harm, you failed to protect me, instead boy you wrecked me / how could you break my heart.
One of the main vocal prints that stick to you like a tattoo is the way that Conrad executes that hook – she slowly lifts her register to really make the listener pay attention to what she is saying in verse – if you listen closely, it appears as if she is crawling, then standing, and then flying vocally as she intricately elevates each word of the hook with delicate modulations – that is a great technique!
Conrad’s register makes complexity seem easy, and yet she does it with modern sophistication.
Not many vocalists out here now can execute a song like “Bodyguard.” Not since Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey (in her prime) has vocalists really been tackling strong melodies that are elongated and accentuated with feeling and gusto. But, “Bodyguard” by Kendal Conrad is just THAT type of Country Pop song to blow up the stagnant scene.
If you’re ready for a real song – one that takes you from a seated position to standing ovation formation, then check “Bodyguard” out and thank me later!
Listen to "Bodyguard" below :
Follow Kendal Conrad :
Written by Kiki Skinner :
Lakisha “KiKi” Skinner is an USA-based indie music journalist and freelance writer who has been
crowned a “word-craft artist” by her global following of independent music artists. She is a part of
an Alt. Rock band and is the owner of Klef Notes entertainment business blog. Lakisha has been
the editor for a Backstreet Boy and has been featured on Dr. Jimmy Star’s blog. If she is not
crafting words, you can find her buying another pair of shoes to place in her over-cluttered
closet. You can read her work at www.KlefNotes.com and find her on
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