Good Will Prevail - GRiZ
By: Nathan Wood
I will preface this review with the background knowledge that I am a huge GRiZ fan. I discovered his music during my freshman year of college shortly after his third album, Rebel Era, was released. A few weeks after, I went to my first GRiZ show at the Music Farm in Charleston, and I was immediately and irreparably obsessed. His music is technically grouped into the genre of electronic dance music (EDM), which I was not a big fan of at the time, but GRiZ’s music is more like experimental funk or “future funk” and his style hooked me. It’s so smooth and yet it can drop so hard! The thing I really appreciate about GRiZ is that, unlike other EDM artists who write only builds and drops, GRiZ wrote grooves and well-constructed songs which are much more satisfying.
GRiZ, also known as Grant Kweicinski, seems to be one of the few individuals that persists in enjoying himself and his life, no matter the circumstances which, I think, is partially the result of Grant’s ability to express himself through music. He captures his happy-go-lucky personality in all of his music and in this album in particular.
So with that being said, Good Will Prevail is a demonstration of mastery. Grant has moved past learning the techniques and basics of writing music to exploring his own methods and creating entirely new sounds. This album is a culmination of everything he has learned from his past projects with a few new skills thrown in. He’s starting to write more lyrical tracks and he’s featuring more friends. This album features several special musicians including guitarists Eric Krasno and Tash Neal, electro-jam trio Sunsquabi, and big names like Big Gigantic and Cherub plus several more. There is a loveable chemistry evident between all these musicians and the result is amazing. GRiZ created this album with a big vision: that it be a triumphant celebration of goodness during trying times, and that’s exactly the effect it has; it feels like a victory.
I won’t try to discuss my favorite tracks because I can’t pick them, the entire album is on an even plane of greatness. There are a few highlights though, the first song to be released from the album was “Good Times Roll” a collaborative track with electro-funk duo Big Gigantic. It was released about a year before Good Will Prevail was, then released again on the album. The versions are pretty much the same until the end where Grant slams an absolutely killer sax solo onto his album version. Good Will Prevail also features a track that I know is very special to GRiZ and is definitely one of the top tracks of the album. “Rather Be Free” is a song featuring soulful guitar and vocals by Grant’s close friend and musical partner, Muzzy Bearr. Together, they make a heartfelt track reflecting humanity’s innate dream for freedom, while tucking a slow liquid-like bass drop and a stellar guitar solo right in the middle. “Before I Go” is the long jam of the album and this song might come the closest to being my current favorite. It features singer Leo Napier and almost sounds like it belongs on GRiZ’s 2013 album, Rebel Era. I love everything about this song, the groove, the structure, the drops, and of course, the saxophone solo.
Another cool element of this album is the addition of some chilled out, downtempo tracks like “Feelin’ Fine”, “If There Ever Comes a Day”, and “Driftin’” which remind me of GRiZ’s Chasing the Golden Hour project. These add a special warmth to the album and show how GRiZ’s skills are still expanding, not to mention giving him more opportunity to show off his dope sax skills.
I think Grant definitely achieved his goals with this album. Shortly after its release, the album was number 12 on iTunes’ “Most Popular” chart and GRiZ started selling out venues on the traditional post-album, nation-wide tour. I’ve been fortunate enough to see GRiZ three times this year (concert reviews coming soon, if you’re interested) and his success is totally warranted, he puts on an amazing show and the album sounds great live, but even better, he creates an atmosphere of warmth and community. GRiZ’s music is meant to spread love and unite people through music, an idea that I think is growing ever more important in our world.
If you’re interested in hearing some GRiZ or learning more about him, all of his music is free on his website: mynameisgriz.com and/or you could tune in to my radio show, Groove Radio, Monday evenings from 7-9pm on hawkstream.org.