‘Black Box’ is the debut EP by American singer-songwriter Rodney Eldridge. Having appeared on the soundtrack for “The Ultimate Legacy” he is no stranger behind a microphone. Originally starting his career in film and TV production, he realized it wasn’t the path he wanted to pursue. Something didn’t feel right, and through it all, he realized that he wanted to write music.
‘Came Here to Talk’ starts the EP off, setting a calm comber tone. Ambient piano chords pair beautifully with the repetitive guitar lines. It all provides support for the warm vocals. Despite the rich emotion it never feels uncomfortable for Rodney Eldridge. At points it even takes Ben Platt vibes with how easy it is to listen to; setting the tone for the EP phenomenally and leaving a great first impression.
Sometimes ‘Black Box’ was as simple as soft-spoken melodies over a guitar, others sounded like an orchestra supporting the vocals. It’s broad range helped the songs feel like a collection of stories. Reminiscences on character defining moments through their lessons learned.
Walking piano lines move alongside the melancholy melody of ‘Am I Too Late?’. Vocal lines are fragile to the point that they sound like they might crack at any minute. Despite this, they never do and never lose the power that pushes them forwards. The lyrics touch on insecurity and how fear can drive us. Contemplating whether it’s too late to change yourself for the better has never sounded prettier. Keeping energy up while singing about such a somber topic isn’t easy – especially when the song is quiet to begin with. Through the easy verses and chorus’ however, the song feels bigger than it actually is. In fact, just because his voice doesn’t get much louder than a whisper occasionally, it still feels strong.
Contemplating whether it’s too late to change yourself for the better has never sounded prettier.INDIE TOP 39
The poetic delivery of everything shows off the easygoing beauty. The instrumentals always accent the melody. Whenever Rodney Eldridge enters his voice is framed by the foundation they set up beforehand and their transition into the supporting role. In spite of this they control the energy for the most part.
Thickening and thinning out the texture helps every voice be heard without sounding busy. Additionally, they never need to stray away from that supportive, almost minimalistic role they’ve established. Instead, the wide variety of different voices helped shape the constantly changing soundscape. From the airy pedaled piano to the mallets used in ‘Am I Too Late’, it all would meld together atmospherically.
Above all, ‘Black Box’ was an aching heart yearning for answers. Although there was wisdom behind everything, there was sadness and uncertainty as well. Sometimes the pondering lyrics feel like advice, and at others they feel bleak. Even yet, at others they feel hopeful. Capturing this range of emotions isn’t easy and demonstrates Eldridge’s maturity.