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Gollehon’s ‘No More Drama’ is a beautifully simple Latin jazz/EDM fusion worth listening to

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Sometimes when you hear a song, you’re immediately wanting to find the “deeper” meaning behind what it means. Is it an allegory? A metaphor? Is it supposed to stand for something that only the select few will ever understand?

The thing is, though, sometimes you don’t need to go looking that far into a song, it can simply stand on its own as a piece of art.

For example, the other day I saw an article talking about the “Star Spangled Banner” and reasons why it’s a horrible choice to be our country’s national anthem.

In the article, the author states, “…(because) the trickiest note (to sing) comes on the word “free,” and not only does freedom not come easy, but for many Americans disenfranchised or worse in the time of the song’s framing.”

My point here is that while it’s certainly possible to put any piece of music under the microscope, even the most well-known in the world, sometimes by doing so you also miss the beauty in its simplicity.

Such is the case with Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics'” single “No More Drama.”

The song’s lyrics are nothing more than Mr. Gollehon stating “No More Drama” over and over throughout the song while a mixture of instruments and sounds play in the background. Gollehon is a trumpeter by reputation, and listening to this track you’ll be able to tell how clearly this song isn’t meant to be enjoyed due to its lyrics or other background instruments.

No, you’ll most likely notice the trumpet, if you notice anything in this song.

Getting back to the main point here, though, “No More Drama” is one of those tracks where if you try putting it under the microscope in the same way that writer so eloquently did to the “Star Spangled Banner” you won’t really find much, and that’s perfectly acceptable.

The music evokes certain feelings that aren’t going to go far beyond “hey, turn that beat up, I want to dance to it,” or “Oh man, this track is awful, play something else.”

It seems a lot easier to enjoy this, though, than to hate it, at least to me, anyhow. The trumpet has that jazz sound to it but is mixed in with experimental EDM riffs, some upbeat drumming and what sounds like some good-old cowbell.

Mac Gollehon. Courtesy photo
Mac Gollehon. Courtesy photo

The video brings a little more to the table we can discuss, but it does a good job in keeping that same vibe of the song intact.

I love the idea of a guy playing his trumpet out in public next to a rag-tag group of misfits and in fact think there needs to be more of that happening today.

Everyone in the video has a different personality all presented without a word being said by them or about them. There’s the guy in the camoflauge and bright-orange ski mask, the other guy in the plain-looking sport coat and sneakers, a girl wearing a blue dress and scarf, and then Gollehon himself wearing a fancy gold getup in some scenes and a trench coat in others.

They’re razor-thin character developments, but this isn’t supposed to be Citizen Kane here, it’s a music video for a pop song, after all.

The characterization that the video does go for, though, it hits right on the mark. These people are fun-loving rebels just out on the town causing some ruckus by singing and dancing in places where it may or may not be appropriate.

As for the man himself, if you’re curious, Gollehon’s musical background is rather impressive.

Nicknamed “Chops” by the late, great Miles Davis, Gollehon has played for such well-known artists as David Bowie, Duran Duran, and Rick James, among others. He’s been a part of the New York City Jazz scene since 1979 and has been playing trumpet since he was a young boy.

The music video for “No More Drama” was directed by Dylan Greenberg, a filmmaker who recently released the feature film “Dark Prism.”

Talking about Gollehon’s music video, she stated, “The vision I got across in Mac’s video was the same brutalist aesthetic I’ve seen in works such as David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway, only instead of using the atmosphere to create a sense of horror, I flipped it on its side and used surrealism to create a fun, danceable video.”

While that goes a bit beyond what I gleaned from it, I can see the touchstones for where those concepts came from, at least.

“No More Drama” is the first single in Gollehon’s self-titled album which was released earlier this year.

For more on him and his group the Hispanic Mechanics, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

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