[EP] Joel Phil – Rise Up

Combining several elements of the classic New York dance scene, “Raise Up” is a definitive statement from Joel Phil, rising star in his own right. Taking a multicultural and multi-layered approach on his Rise Up EP, Phil serves up a single sure to please multiple audiences as well as assure airplay in the modern in the modern pop circles. Phil’s positive presence in the dance pop world is a sorely-needed addition to the cavalcade of songs in the genre that so often address so little.

The EP’s “Spanglish Version” of the titular track is an especially delightful indulgence that goes into territory many have only joked of in the past.  Through code switching, both lyrically and tonally, Phil ensures an afro-cuban dominance over a DFA beat, releasing the English-spoken lines over the powerful chorus.

In fact, what may be said about the chorus is true of Phil’s EP as it emanates empowerment in a very special and familiar manner. The various remixes lend themselves to the myriad ways in which we may feel equipped, and how achieving such a state of being is not simply garnered through one path. “Raise Up” may quite literally be interpreted as a raising one another up in troubled times like these, but without shedding all too much light on the negative side of our societal woes.

Eubillany, dance-ready and an overall fun listen, Joel Phil’s latest EP reminds one that crossover dance music needn’t be overly complicated.

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