Beautifully Human is the latest track to be released from Naomi Wachira’s new album Song of Lament. The project was created by the singer-songwriter to highlight the need for art that inspires and teaches society. This single is one of many tracks on the album that challenge listeners to critically think about the world around them and how they can make it better. Herself inspired by the work of Tracy Chapman and Miriam Makeba, Wachira hopes that this album conveys her parents’ teachings “to try and leave a place better than (you) found it.”
Immediately you can hear from the outset that this track is based around reggae ideals. The genre, of course, is known for tackling the big issues and this song is no exception. The music itself is understated, with simple syncopated guitars and earthy drumming with little difference between chorus and verse. This leaves all the focus for the lyrics and melody. Wachira stays in her middle range for most of the song, bravely hitting a few high notes in the third verse even though her tone isn’t strong in that area. There are no ornaments or tricky melodic quips in the tune either, with frequent use of vocal harmonies on the almost staccato notes in the chorus. Doing this is a great way of being emotive in reggae without using foreign techniques which would sound jarring for the genre.
I admire what Wachira is aiming for in her album Song of Lament. Reggae was the perfect choice for the lyrical content of Beautifully Human (not to mention reggae itself is just a groovy genre). Her performance of the song was admirable and the track well-composed. I give the track 9.5/10.
Listen to the single on Soundcloud