• WEDNESDAY, JULY 06, 2016

    • Posted by: Jacob Swindell-Sakoor

    Our nation is still grieving over the lives lost in the Pulse nightclub on June 12. Since the tragedy occurred, there have been numerous vigils and tributes paid to the lives lost. Musicians have weighed in by sharing their thoughts at shows and on Twitter. Besides a "Free Love" released by Vic Mensa last week, there hasn't been much music made in dedication of the lives lost to a maniacal hate crime. However, with the release of "Hands" it now feels like the industry has given a proper response to one of the most shocking displays of domestic terrorism in recent years.

    "Hands" features 24 music artists/acts, with everyone from Halsey to RuPaul involved in the project. It's worth noting that a large industry effort such as "Hands" hasn't come together since "We Are The World 25" was put together. Unlike the previously mentioned, "We Are The World 25", "Hands" never feels overbearing or overly cliched. Songwriters Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels simply deserve acknowledgement for putting together the monumental feat that is "Hands". To be able to get Mark Ronson to produce a piece that sounds timeless and strays away from a sound that is partial to any one decade or genre is a true accomplishment.

    Speaking of production and songwriting, "Hands" focuses on how our hands can cause destruction or creation. Pair this with timely lyrics about how there needs to be drastic social change in the U.S. and you've got a song with a strong theme and enough relevancy to make it both impactful and filled with soul. In terms of the production on "Hands," Ronson relies on the usage of triads on the piano at the very beginning and as the song develops he builds more complex chords and short melodic motifs. Until the chorus is introduced the song sticks to piano and vocals which gives it a simple, but necessary sonic backdrop. The addition of acoustic guitar during the second chorus makes the song feel slightly cheesy, but that's okay in my book. Ultimately, "Hands" sticks to pop simplicity and with effective vocal engineering (shout outs to you Benjamin Rice) this song can surely be played in five to ten years and still feel fresh, but hopefully less profoundly relevant in the future.

    RATING: 4.5/5
    "Hands" is a necessary song filled with positivity for a nation on the brink of social progression or archaic nationalism. All proceeds from "Hands" will benefit Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, and GLAAD. Listen to "Hands" above.

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