Nikki and the Human Element - 'Growing Old Together'
Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier & Staff
Nikki Neretin’s performance in “Growing Old Together” is full of personality and expression as she tells a story of the ups and downs that come with a 25+ year marriage. Neretin’s vocal delivery is both sincere and theatrical and takes on the role of narrator at times as she weaves in and out of singing to a more speech like, conversational vocal style. Neretin approaches the subject matter with sincerity and an evocative sense of humor.
The lines in particular that caught me first upon the first listen were “We’ve both gained about 20 pounds. Still growing. Still growing. Still growing Old Together” as well as “Read me the paper while I take a bath. Winters frost springs like clouds to glass. Can’t wait for summer to come if it ever comes again.” The craft that went into this line alone made me go “Damn! I wish I could write like that!” The way that the line is structured compliments the melody so well here.
Co-written by musician/producer Rob Taube, (who handles the remainder of the instrumentation) the song is filled with lush acoustic guitars, bright and resonant keys, and thick round bass tones that build a firm sonic foundation in conjuncture with some incredibly solid drumming courtesy of session drummer for Bruce Springsteen, Larry Eagle. The stereo image is round and rich and provides a firm bet for a peppering of the occasional pentatonic licks forming a nice call and response with Neretin’s vocals during the bridge.
The songwriting and storytelling here are top-notch. I felt instantly drawn in to the subject matter with the combination of the vivid lyrical imagery and Neretin’s theatrical performance. Even though I have never been married, I immediately found the feelings conveyed instantly relatable.
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For more information, please visit Nikki's website, Nikki and the Human Element
About Nikki Neretin
Nikki Neretin, MD (lead singer, guitarist and creator) was the Director of Homeless Services for the Institute for Family Health, a large not for profit in NYC,u for the last 26 years and is now a primary care provider in a native hospital and small fishing village in remote Alaska. A professional singer, she works as a doctor because of her love of people and to pay the bills. Her work with street homeless clients for the last 20 years has helped to create the meaningful backdrop of this influential and important music. Her experiences with medicine, music, motherhood and marriage, with commitment to social activism, helps towards making a compassionate and sustainable world. Her most recent album, Elemental, is an eclectic collection of musical styles and themes.