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Best Music Spotlight

Love Block (El Mariachi) – Valerie Rose

Photograph of the blog post author, Jonathan Robinson

Jonathan Robinson


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Drawing stylistic influence from Latin instrumentation, Valerie Rose brings us ‘Love Block (El Mariachi)’. Compositionally referencing contemporary soul-pop artists like Amy Winehouse, this track is delivered with a notable passion and attack.

Love Block (El Mariachi)

Opening with a particular dynamic combination of intermittent piano phrases under the leading melody of Valerie’s voice. Hushed backing vocals provide the bulk of the harmonic content here, chorally reinforcing each line with the adaptive layered tones.

Much of the pieces progressive development is found in the articulation and placement of the backing vocals. Sometimes adding force to the lead, sometimes echoing the lines and filling the space. On occasion adding a spoken word into the mix, other times creating a textural bed of sound to underly the track.

Without a doubt the most exciting and musically intriguing element of this piece is the decorative horns that playfully manoeuvre throughout the stereo field. Cherry picking their presence for maximum effect, in addition to highlighting the intentional Latin tendencies found within the musicality here. Preferring to learn on the minor qualities in the changes, the rising and falling melodies add a distinctly recognisable air of tension. 

Percussive sounds extend beyond that of a standard acoustic kit, including subtle pitched strikes to provide a bubbly and heavily danceable backdrop. This also serves to identify different sections within the track; opting for more bombastic and filled sounds in the choruses and gentler, more servient phrases during the verses.

‘Love Block’ never stays in one place for too long. Varying intensity of its Spanish leniency gives way to more typical soul and pop tendencies, even theatrical during its duet charged finale. Accessible from all angles, this is a track to be enjoyed by all.

  • Overall rating: 8.5/10
  • Pairs well with: The Hands That Thieve – Streetlight Manifesto

About Valerie Rose

From Long Island, New York, Valerie Rose pulls from soul, blues, pop and more to craft thought provoking songs for the modern audience. Tackling topics such as promiscuity, self-reflection, and patriotism; Rose is ready to address anything through her art.

Stream Love Block (El Mariachi) on Spotify:

Love Block (El Mariachi)

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