Single Review: Joel Phil Shows He’s Not Just One-Trick ‘Monster’ [Video]

When Your EDM introduced Joel Phil last year with his uplifting call to “Raise Up”, a house-based party anthem with a conscience, no one would have thought that his very next single would be a dark future bass/trap combo. With his new track “Monster,” released in late October however, Mr. Phil has done just that, and in the meantime shattered any misconceived predictions about his style.

Rather than a fun, poppy house song, “Monster” is deep and ominous in its beats and tone, with lyrics to match. It also has a very different message than Phil’s first track. Says the artist himself, “I wrote this song out of frustration…and the end product was an emotional release!” Like “Raise Up,” “Monster’s” vocals don’t mince words, describing Phil’s own emotional turmoil while addressing the subject of depression head-on. It seems even in his tough personal times, Phil still has a social conscience and can reach out to those who are also struggling.

It’s the plainness of Phil’s vocals that accomplish this effect, but what makes his message really visceral is the combination of pop-infused vocals and melodies with more dark and heavy beats and bass. Production-wise, “Monster” is very solid, and it’s a really interesting way to use trap and future bass. While trap can sometimes seem a bit relaxed as a beat structure, combining it with future bass creates a tension that really works with the message of “Monster.”  It also compliments Phil’s phenomenal voice. The vocals and melody add little pop cache to the otherwise EDM track giving it a broader reach and hopefully it will reach more people who won’t feel so alone after hearing it. It’s no wonder “Monster” was almost used for the 50 Shades of Grey franchise.

Joel Phil has clearly shown his diversity on “Monster” and that he shouldn’t be dismissed as only a house or pop artist. His personal, emotional and at times heart-rending vocals also reach out and touch others who may be struggling. Musical diversity with a positive message: here’s hoping Joel Phil starts releasing more often than one single per year.

“Monster” is out now and can be streamed and purchased on multiple platforms by clicking here.

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