• Mon, Sep 21, 2020
Reviews

Manas Jha Highlights Child Anxiety Disorders On His Single

7.0

album Reviews Aug 03, 04:48pm

‘Shades’ is accompanied by an animated music video that drives home the point
 Photo Courtesy: 4/4 Experiences

Music with a real message had a bit of a lull before this year’s extraordinary events brought the concept of doing something meaningful with music back into sharp focus. New York songwriter Manas Jha chooses the relatively untouched topic of anxiety in one’s youth with his single ‘Shades’, and if the topic wasn’t interesting enough, the subject matter is supported by a well-produced rock-influenced song.

The production is the best part of the track. Manas uses drums that have a real punch to them and grungy distorted guitars. The bass is also a bit forward in the mix. His voice is on the thin and reedy side, which means that the instrumentation can take up more space in the mix and have the added weight that makes it stick in the mind more. The song does feature a solo towards its back end and an interesting bridge that leads up to it, but structurally it’s pretty simple, using its lyrics to make transitions from section to section as any rock song does. But the lyrics are the meat of the track, and they are what Manas is focusing on the most. He speaks about the times younger people feel anxiety and even panic in a range of public situations, not particularly mentioning any stories but using metaphors to sort of try to give a face to the feeling. It’s not a particularly straightforward thing to explain or describe, but he does a good job of evoking that sense of helplessness and discomfort it brings along with it. More concrete information is put across in the beautifully animated music video for the song, which shows a kid going through everything that shakes a person’s world at that age; embarrassment in the classroom, on the field, trying drugs. These are pulled from Manas’ own school life and paint a good picture of how much these seemingly minor things can affect a child or teenager.

‘Shades’, by its own admission in a way, is not a song to sit and peel back layers to for hours at a time. It’s a song that wishes to inspire thought through memories and its content. Maybe we went through something in school, or maybe we know someone who did; the song and video does its job well of bringing light to something not many people discuss.

 

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