camp-o - ‘Hollywood’
Reviewed by Vai Thomas
Pop songs that incorporates the modal form (i.e. usage of only a finite number of notes from the musical scale) in its melody will always be in vogue. From the likes of Bob Dylan, through Prince, right down to Adele, the modal form has been the key to crafting some of the greatest pop numbers in history. The reason this method will never go out of style is straightforward: No fuss and no flashiness. The simplicity and directness with which it strives to drive the lyrical themes home afford the song room for creativity and more. And the end result, more likely than not, is a song that is indelibly easy to get hooked on to by the listener, simultaneously sounding contemporary while appearing to be ahead of its times. These remarkable traits and more are found in Las Vegas-based artist camp-o’s new summer offering, titled ‘Hollywood’. Written in the key of G Major, Hollywood is a dreamily peppy number based on summer love, living life to the fullest as though out of a movie – hence the title. Normally, given the lyrical themes, one would expect something akin to a flashy and heavy arrangement which, more often than not, tend to go a tad over-the-top, whether intended or not. However, "Hollywood’s" arrangement comprised of just electric guitar and the drum, apart from the vocals render a sense of intimacy to the listener that works in all the right ways. The lack of the bass throughout the song works creatively well here as it did for Prince’s "When Doves Cry", in both cases on account of a well-sounding and well-mixed kick, which very effectively carries the low end on its own throughout, rendering the bass’ absence moot. And the electric guitar’s plucking and overlays is the spice that so incredibly renders the summer warmth and youthfulness to the song with its precision and simplicity. The lyrics are written are just as dreamy and with the right amount of oomph, rendering the song a delightful wistfulness and bliss at being with one’s love on a summer day, as evidenced by lyrics such as ‘We’ve got our shades on now, but the sun is shining as bright as you’. And the vocals by camp-o, wonderfully adhere to the afore-mentioned modal form, constituting the soul of this upbeat song – using just the five notes: G, A, B, C and D so much is achieved in mood and sound. Intimate and anthemic at once, without being unnecessarily flashy, the song and arrangement can only be termed with one word: cool. Not least on account of the superb mixing and reverbs applied to both the vocals and the guitars, a key component in realizing the number’s dreaminess and zing.
At a duration of two minutes and thirty eight seconds, "Hollywood" is an incredibly well-rounded number that should be noted for its absolute creativity and refusal to follow the tried and tested, and a number that would constitute a more than worthy addition to your summer playlist – both in the mainstream and the alternative realms.
About camp-o camp-o is an emerging artist hailing from Las Vegas with roots in the Philippines and raised in Southern California. Despite being new to the music scene, camp-o's passion for self-expression through lyrics and poetry dates back to the young age of 12. Drawing inspiration from personal experiences, camp-o brings a unique perspective to the world of music. camp-o's artistry promises to make a lasting impact in the industry. Visit camp-o on Instagram.