Clifford transcends genre with the ease, skill, and swagger of a seasoned veteran. Switching from disco to rock to funk and back again before ascending to the heavens with the luxuriously decadent heights of the soulful vocals of a dagger-sharp chorus.
We were introduced to Clifford‘s pop-fused musical mash-up when we covered ‘Quick Quick Slow‘. With ‘Too Big Too Strong‘ we dive deeper into the wealth of influences that inspire the rich and varied soundscape.
It begins with the spine-tingling tickle of the crisp percussion accompanied by the dagger dark disco of the synth. The vocals have a rarity of tone that oozes over the top with a salacious sex appeal. The track instantly conjures a Prince-like funk and confidence that matches perfectly with the poetic heart of its lyrical narrative.
The song is an anthem for finding your own strength. It is easy to relate to the young man shaken by the machismo and bullish nature of the accepted path. Yet growing up and growing strong can mean very different things to different people and Clifford sings of confidence born within that no longer needs external validation.
In the second half of the song, the energy becomes more frenzied as our narrator finds himself closed in by a claustrophobic invasion of personal space and development. The crippling self-doubt and imposed expectations are a toxin and the climactic explosive force of this creative peak of self-actualization is unleashed.
This message is matched perfectly in the tone and cadence of the vocals and guitar, they wiggle and flex with a masterful depth of emotion and skill that adds weighty wisdom and heartfelt truth to every line and break. As soon as that thick rigid riff started its swaggering saunter through the soundscape during the intro it summoned a shift that leaked into the soul of the song.
Between ‘Quick Quick Slow’, ‘Too Big Too Strong’, and previous release ‘Close To Me’ Clifford displays the dazzling brilliance of his shapeshifting sonic skill. Every song is enriched by the dizzy delight of the passionate and powerful prism it shines through. This is music made with love, by an artist who truly loves music, and it’s a giddy concoction that sips silky smooth and leaves you gagging for another taste.