The truest of artists never stop growing with their medium, and in his new single “Love One Another,” singer/songwriter Ranzel X Kendrick under the moniker Alias Wayne challenges himself with the task of doing what few players can – taking someone else’s song and making it feel like your own. His soft-spoken vocal is perhaps perfect for this material, both demonstrating his range and capturing the essence of the track at the same time; that said, there’s scarcely an instance in this performance in which it feels like he’s trying to be anyone other than himself.
One of the greatest difficulties in making a song like this work is expressing part of yourself alongside the tone of the narrative, but this is one single in which the performer makes it sound all too easy.
The integrity of the rhythm in “Love One Another” is one of the primary reasons I find myself as attracted to Alias Wayne’s delivery of the lyrics as I do. His is quite an emotional vocal, but without the even tempo it’s at here, I don’t think that the verses would have the same kind of oomph that they do in this version of the song. There’s little urgency on his part at the mic, and while he could have been a little more aggressive with his harmonies, I can understand the desire to go with something a little more conservative for this specific performance. It’s more of an advertisement of what the stage show might sound like rather than a full-blown encapsulation of his artistic personality outside of the studio environment.
Even though this song feels like something out of the classic American songbook, every word that Alias Wayne sings feels personal and heartfelt, like they’re coming from his soul rather than someone else’s. It’s clear he identifies with the story he’s trying to tell as well as the melodic foundations of the composition in general, but he’s avoiding the pitfalls of replication as much as possible through tonal expressiveness – which is something a lot of his contemporaries fail to employ when tackling material as intriguing as this song is. He’s someone who plans out every intricacy well before he ever gets into the recording stage, and I think his provocative delivery of “Love One Another” is going to help a lot of critics who didn’t appreciate the likes of Firebrand back in 2020 to understand as much.
This is a decidedly more captivating look than most of the singer/songwriter content that’s been landing on my desk in 2023 thus far, and although I’m just now getting to know the music of Alias Wayne, I’ve got a good feeling about what he’s doing based off of the depth of his performance in “Love One Another.” This isn’t the easiest of compositions to record, but his total lack of hesitation around the corner of every harmony is perhaps what sold me the most with regards to Alias Wayne’s skillset here. I want to hear what he can do with some future original content, but until then I think this is a pretty good sample of what he brings to the table.