The latest song from Dallas-based singer Xavier Bernazard, Restart, is quite an exceptional song. The track opens with a bright keyboard line highly reminiscent of 80s pop-rock. The heavenly vocals begin shortly after, and while they sound grounded and strong, they are highly passionate too. I found the delivery to be very broadway-ish…it’s as if Mr.Xavier is in a scene from a musical…resenting the toll of time and missing his days of youth. For the most part, the singing is in the tenor range, and the high notes felt like they come with so much ease and control. Not many singers can vocalize over a guitar solo and make it sound this good.
The tone and settings of the guitar itself remind me of Evanescence on their 2000 Origin Demo…As oddly specific as this sounds, I remembered the guitar solo of the song Anywhere from said album. I’m guessing this guitar sound was tweaked around via a multi-effect or a pedal. Getting to sound exactly like your influences without copying them or being distasteful is not an easy thing to achieve. Kudos to Mr.Fox DeVaughn for making me feel that pleasant nostalgia.
The way the guitar line sounds easy on the ears while present throughout the song is achieved by the stellar production of Nathan McCord, who also provides solid drumming for this track. Mr.Alex Hodge seamlessly plays his lines on the bass guitar, supporting the song’s guitar and vocals with tremendous skill. Mr.Xavier Bernazard is, in my biased opinion, the male equivalent of singers like Amy Lee and Florence Welsh, who both have a powerful technique rooted in conveying their feelings through their vocal lines. He made it feel like an effortless task to paint a mental image you can relate to and resonate with.