- Bryon Harris
Safe Word - "After All"
Safe Word is the artistic talent of Ben Wayne and Jess Novak. “Afterall”, off their album Rise. captivates listeners with a soulful groove, expressive lead vocals, powerful vocal harmonies, and a dynamic instrumental arrangement.
Starting off, the first verse opens with electric guitar, bass, keys, and very light percussion. The musicianship is tasteful and well-done. The arrangement has hints of R & B love ballads from the 50’s with a fresh contemporary touch. Jess enters with vocals that are silky smooth as she draws listeners in with emotive phrasing and a beautiful lush tone that feels genuine, tender and intimate.
With each slight pause that divides sections of the verse, the instrumental arrangement continues to build in anticipation for the chorus. After a brief rest, the grab-you-in-the-gut chorus opens up with powerful vocal harmonies from Jess and Ben as they sing together:
“Don’t give up on me/Don’t give up on me/I know I’m hard to love/Don’t give up on me/Don’t give up on me/We’re can make it through it all/When the world makes you feel so small/Just know – we’re gonna make it after all/After all.”
The ballad keeps up the heartfelt energy as it continues to the next verse with Ben chiming in with additional harmonies and wonderful vocal runs. An instrumental sections with solos switches between electric guitar and keys drive the song before switching to the punchy bridge.
"Afterall" is a song about relationship resiliency. It is about not giving up on yourself or the person you love when, at times, you feel like you are hard to love. It expresses the emotions of a fragile heart and a strong sense of tenacity when the world seems like it is closing in.
The moving performance delivered by Jess and Ben is mesmerizing. With an amazing chemistry, this fabulous duo delivers a stunning performance that captures your artistic ear and your hopeful heart from start to finish with a song filled with tender moments that stay with you long after you've heard it.
For more information visit Safe Word's website.
Listen on Spotify.
Get to know Jess and get to know Ben.
About Safe Word
This musical duo and couple blends their combination of styles, songwriting, instrumental talents and moving vocals and harmonies to their acclaimed original music and timeless cover songs. With a repertoire spanning The Grateful Dead to Chris Stapleton to TLC to Sublime - paired with dozens of original songs from each - Jess Novak and Ben Wayne are a duo to watch. They offer something for everyone.
Ben Wayne's room-stopping voice is enough to grab the attention of any crowd. With incredibly catchy songwriting and deft acoustic guitar skills, Ben is a powerful one-man show. Mixed with Jess Novak's smooth violin work, equally accomplished songwriting. and similarly strong voice , the duo is a perfect match. Each artist offers something unique and ever-exciting to the combination.
Wayne and Novak don't just sing into the mic, they sing across it, often sharing songs for and about each other. Their intimacy adds something stand-alone to their show - one that's infectious with sincerity.
This music review was brought to you by BWH Music Group