There is a certain sweetness emanating all over Arika Kane’s recent single “It’s There.” With 90’s style contemporary R&B beats, mellow bass grooves, twinkling pianos, and a dash of electric guitar, the track sounds nostalgic, wonderfully heartwarming, and is magnificently moving. It also goes without saying how lovely yet powerful Arika Kane’s vocals are as they melodically croon with triumphant soulfulness from verse to chorus. On top of that, the song features Brian McKnight, who is more than likely a familiar household name to the R&B music community (previous collaborations include Mariah Carrey and Vanessa Williams). I can’t stress how much of a winning combination this is: nostalgic 90’s sounds, Arika Kane’s stunning vocals, and the featured voice of the incredibly talented and Grammy nominated Brian McKnight? R&B fans will definitely not want to miss this one.
How else do I possibly describe something as fantastic and refreshing as “It’s There?” For one, it’s mature. There’s nothing too bubble gum poppy or obscure, nor is there anything too overly embellished or safe. The chorus is hooky, and each verse flows elegantly, with just the right amount of sway and energy. This is the working of an artist who has really laboured on her craft, as it dips just right between slow and relaxing, yet cheery and sentimental.
I mention nostalgia because it oozes throughout the song so strongly. I remember the 90’s for its strong and soulful R&B music, the type that is unfortunately not as prolific on the radio anymore. “It’s There” is strongly reminiscent of those wonderful sounds that made up the many wedding receptions and 18th birthday ceremonies I have ever attended, as well music that my parents would play in the living room when I was a kid (Mariah Carrey and Shania Twain to name a few). That type of nostalgia just drives forth the already sweet sentimentality that coats this song, and it makes this track just that much more wonderful.
The production is fantastic and rarely misses a beat, if at all. The vocal harmonies are crisp and on point, echoing at just the right places and really evoking the kind of happy soulfulness you want to hear in an R&B love song. Brian McKnight’s vocals also mesh superbly and stand toe-to-toe with Arika Kane’s as they don’t feel too spontaneously painted into the track. Rather, they accentuate the soulful sweetness of the song quite beautifully.
There is also no overshadowing of one vocalist over the other; every lyric is sung by both singers with heartfelt totality, the annunciation and pacing of their words beckoning the listener to cling on to and drink in every single word and note. The chemistry of both singers is most certainly here too, as not only do you hear their voices swirling magnificently together, but you feel it. You definitely feel the euphoria that the lyrics and the instrumental evokes, and as a result makes this an ideal song to be played at weddings, prom nights, or just to sing as a serenade to your favourite person. There is most definitely something wonderful and moving going on in this song, and the way that both artists bring it out is almost magical.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the album sounds like, due in June of this year. As it stands, Arika Kane’s “It’s There” is sweet, wonderful, and downright fantastic. It does feel like there’s a little bit of wiggle room left that could be filled to make this song even more memorable and soulfully moving, perhaps in the way of an explosive high note after the bridge. This, however, is a minor concern that takes away none of the heartfelt potency of this track. With its easy-listening sensibilities and pop accessibility, this song truly has the potential to bring the syrupy and soulful contemporary R&B sounds of yesteryear back into the forefront of the music community. “It’s There” is a must listen for all contemporary R&B fans or anyone looking for something radio-friendly and reminiscent of the 90’s.
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