Recording artist GAWVI just barely misses the mark of perfection with his single “Closer.”
GAWVI, signed with Reach Records, has had an expansive career producing and recording both Christian and secular hip hop songs, but with his new album We Belong, he has branched out to electronic pop, citing his desire “to be more experimental.”
The star song of the album is a little gem called “Closer” – an upbeat, enthusiastic and recognizable piece.
GAWVI manages to break past the stereotype of gospel music being slow or boring. Disregarding lyrics for a second, “Closer” has an instrumental sound similar to that of the group Chainsmokers. It is just repetitive enough to be catchy and easy to identify, but transitory enough that it doesn’t grind on the nerves. Based on its sound, it could be expected to on the radio and on dance floors across the nation.
The lyrics present somewhat of a conundrum. They are not innately spiritual (unlike his early gospel work), but take little analysis to find true meaning. Lines such as “you forgive me, you never leave me” could certainly apply to a human relationship, but similar appeals to God are also prevalent themes in most Christian music and beliefs.
The lyrics themselves do not instantly disqualify “Closer” from mainstream audiences. In fact, the ambiguity lends to a better range of consumability. Anyone can enjoy this song.
Starting with a lifting melody from Julissa Leilani, “Closer” is full of hope and faith. Whether that’s hope and faith in a romance, a friendship, or a spiritual relationship, Leilani’s unique and smooth tone just puts you in a good mood. In fact, Leilani’s entire performance is aesthetically pleasing.
Robbie Lee’s deeper timbre in the verses is equally pleasing. Lee and Leilani’s voices compliment each other perfectly in “Closer,” and deliver a technically flawless piece.
However, no song is pure perfection, and “Closer” is no exception. If electronic pop is not your jam, this is not the song for you. If you want your gospel music more explicitly about God, this song is not for you.
But if you’re looking for a happy song with slamming beat to dance to, allow me to introduce to GAWVI, you’ll get along great.