MUSIC FOR YOUR EARS | REVIEW Sacred Sinner By Umberto Bravo

This new single, Sacred Sinner, by Umberto Bravo, perfectly combines controlled sensuality with excellent and slightly provocative lyrics with a gentle, yet powerful, velvety voice. The juxtaposition of the voice with the strength of the performance enhances the contrast and the sensual feeling evoked. The sometimes atmospheric, sometimes blustery performance is very controlled, allowing the music and sound to build up, and then abate throughout. The mastery of the singer of his craft, and the control he exerts to produce the ebb and flow of the music cannot be overstated and should not be underestimate. This is a mesmerising track, which draws the listener in, both with the productive skills and memorable vocals and lyrics, on the track itself and the video.

It is important to state from the outset that the video performance has not been without controversy, to the extent that there are now two videos, the so-called ‘clean’ version and the Guilty Pleasure version. The latter has been controversially censored by YouTube, but can still be seen on the artist’s own YouTube channel. While both versions are sensual and describe sexual need, loss, vulnerability and basic humanity, the Guilty Pleasure version might be acknowledged as more overtly sexual. However, it is difficult, at least for this reviewer to see exactly why these images have been censored; there is no full frontal nudity, no profanity. It is true that the artist uses his sometimes naked body to express his vulnerability, and the use of leather strapping on his chest and arms could be interpreted as sexual, while some ropes and lighting might be seen as Christ-like reflections. It must be said that these images perfectly complement the lyrics and vocals, and combine to produce an extremely effective piece with a strong impact on all who hear it.

In the ‘clean’ version there are singers dressed in what might be seen as Mary Magdalen-style robes, while Guilty Pleasure features simply Umberto Bravo who conveys the message just as effectively himself.

In terms of the music, there are echoes of 80s/90s synth pop scene, but that would be far too simplistic a description for this masterful production. The keyboard and timbre of the voice are a marvellous combination. This is a sophisticated, deceptively simple track which will leave no-one who listens to it carefully indifferent.

Review Made by L.A.C.