Synthwave Single Review: Best Korea, "Imagine the Echo"
Best Korea’s brand new single, “Imagine the Echo,” is an engaging combination of strong retro elements delivered by the unmistakable sound of an ‘80s style saxophone, lyrics that cut into the heart of the matter and clear, clean production that is bang up to date.
As this is a track dominated by Ray Jimenez’ vocals, I’ll start by saying that his voice comes across strong and clear, easily carrying over the powerful drums and bass sounds underneath it. He transmits the emotions in the lyrics that he crafted in a potent way through the timbre of his voice. When both he and fellow band member Dacotah Stordahl sing, their voices make a very pleasant blend.
The lyrics themselves carry a strong message and convey it well. In a society in which cynicism, mistrust and negativity have come to dominate, this is a song that calls out for a fresh approach. The lyrics plead, “Take me to a place in which I don’t believe/Show me all these things you say I cannot see,” as though crying out for disillusionment to fall away.
The song’s narrator says, “I wanna believe there’s more to life than something we hide; That’ll keep me alive” as he asks to be reassured that not everything is obscured and trust can still exist. Ultimately the song concludes, “We come alive between the darkness and the light/As we drift through where our thoughts and dreams collide.”
The sax is a great addition to the musical quality of the track. It has an unashamedly retro feel while still integrating well with the pin sharp, modern production values. There’s an emotional punch about the way it sounds that complements Ray Jimenez’ emotional expression as he sings. I also appreciated the way in which the sax contrasted with the hard-hitting drums and the oscillating bass pulses. The synths on the track are in a more supportive role and as such they work well.
Best Korea’s first single “Iron Lung” had a similar emotional punch to it, but I feel that “Imagine The Echo” is even more powerful and also adds more flair by incorporating the sax and really letting Ray Jimenez shine both vocally and lyrically. If there’s a full album in the future, I’ll be quite happy to give it a listen!