Album Review: Keiynan Lonsdale – Rainbow Boy

Keiynan Lonsdale is an Australian actor and singer/songwriter, probably most well known for his role as Wally West/Kid Flash on The CW series The Flash/Legends of Tomorrow and Abraham ‘Bram’ Greenfeld in the 2018 movie Love, Simon. I have reviewed music by his fellow The Flash alums, Grant Gustin and Malese Jow, which you can check out here and here respectively. Today, however, I will be reviewing his album ‘Rainbow Boy’ which was released on 29th May 2020. 

‘We are the Children’ opens with a resplendent harp trill that flows into Lonsdale’s soft, sweet, ambient vocals. From the get go, this song just fills you up, you feel the richness and the depth of Keiynan’s performance and it only gets better as the track fleshes out, incorporating heavier percussive elements that all come together to create a nearly overwhelming and truly sensational track. 

‘Gay Street Fighter’ has some awesome fanfare that builds beneath Lonsdale’s voice, and man much like the previous track this is a rich, complex instrumental backing that supports his vocals perfectly. The fast paced horns, the slower but more even, consistent bass and percussion. And man he has such a soulful voice, and he has great command of it, oscillating between a higher and lower register as required. 

‘Magic Mickey’ has a heavier beat to it, almost like a heartbeat, and it blends well with Lonsdale’s voice, which again is outstanding, we get to see another style and even greater range to his talent in this number. Especially compared to the previous two tracks this is deeper and heavier, slower and more deliberate, but it really works. I think my favourite part of this song, and it’s tough to pick because it’s all really top notch, is the last little bit, like the last 45 seconds or so which slows things down even more and is just beautiful. 

‘Destiny Road’ really picks up on the style and vibe of the previous song, particularly the last little bit I mentioned enjoying, it’s softer and sweeter and fills you up, as you are just swept away by Lonsdale’s tremendous voice. I liked that he changed things up midway through the track, the 8-bit inspired video game melody merging with the rap style flow of the vocals before it exploded into a sensational closing vocal number.

‘Ancient One’ changes things up again, it has jungle sounds that lead into a group chanting, which combine and build before bleeding into a bass driven rap style vocal section. It has a truly incredible vibe to it, nice energy, nice beat and honestly this song just kinda grabs you and doesn’t let go. I also love that Lonsdale isn’t afraid to experiment and make something that’s unique and a little offbeat.

‘Rhythm & Music’ opens with a light percussive fill which builds, and is hammered by Lonsdale’s tremendous vocals. It really lives up to its name, it has an incredible rhythm which is super catchy, and well built without losing a core simplicity that really sets this track apart. 

‘White Noise’ opens again with a quirky blend of noises that really make me like Keiynan even more, he has an adorable, unconventional energy about him. But he doesn’t rest on his laurels or his charming personality. Each track he succeeds in producing a piece of music which is not only good both on its own, and as part of a greater sample of music, but also one where he is free to challenge and experiment, and have fun all the while delivering catchy and enjoyable songs like this one. I especially liked the saxophone sections, but I’m a sucker for little extras like that in music. 

‘Rainbow Dragon’ has a build down, by which I mean, it begins with a melodic tone, which winds down rather than building up, it flows into a percussive beat and some more superb vocals. He has a voice that is equally suited to both the high and low notes, and he finds a way to move between both without the result seeming jarring or disconnected. I think of all the tracks on the album this is my personal favourite. I mean there are probably others on here which are more technically superior but this one is fun, personal and I just really liked the energy of the whole track. 

‘I Confess My Love’ opens with an old school film projector kicking in, and a truly heartbreakingly soulful vocal performance from Lonsdale. I mentioned in my review of Shelby Merry’s single ‘Gallows’ that some songs, and some singers like Keiynan just have a quality that truly defines music for me, it’s not just that they sing good, or stringing together good beats, but making something that’s pure and just really resonates with the listener.

‘Mirror’ builds slowly, a heavy, almost unsettling melody, like staring into an immense darkness, and yet there is an ambient softness that when blended with the growing percussion really begins to shape something interesting and powerful. Lonsdale’s vocals are deep and distorted to begin with in this track, and it really makes for something unique. 

‘Chocolate’ is another, soft, slow building number. I really liked the tones that build and incorporate with the whistling, they are such simple elements but they work really well with the track. I feel like I could easily overstate it but man Lonsdale has an amazing voice, the vocal depth and consistency alone would be amazing, but the fact that he’s always willing to push his voice and try new things is what’s most impressive to me.

‘Play’ has the sounds of children playing, and the strains of something like a xylophone or a glockenspiel? It’s an interesting way to begin, and I like that the tones mesh with the broader growing backing melody. The backing melody reminds me of the noise you hear in underwater levels of a video game, this also breaks though to be replaced with a bass and percussion heavy tune. 

‘One Man’ fades in, with distorted vocals and an Asian inspired melody that work together, this begins as another soft and heavy number, one with a weight attached to it. I could honestly listen to this song on repeat, the richness, the tempo, everything about it just works. 

‘On My Wave’ has an Afrobeats style to it, and it’s a really enjoyable way to close out what has been an absolute whopper of an album. I really liked this track, it brought a lot of things together and had a really catchy melody. In particular the energy of this track really carried us through, which is impressive as it can be difficult to maintain energy and momentum when you’ve got a longer albu like this. 

So that’s what I thought of Keiynan Lonsdale’s album ‘Rainbow Boy’ and if you want to check that out for yourself then head on over to Spotify. While you’re at it, make sure and support the artist by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/


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