Robert Vendetta refers to his genre as “retro-pop,” which is an apt description of what he’s done with “Fool.” The song is stylistically reminiscent of the piano-driven ballads that were popular in the 1970s and 80s, with instrumentation and vocal performance to match.
The song opens with a Mellotron-esque synth flute riff before launching into an arrangement built principally on piano, bass, and synth strings. There’s some slightly too loud high hat and tambourine work propelling the rhythm of the song, but it’s Vendetta’s vocals that really pull the piece along. He’s got an earnest, thoughtful vocal style, delivering each lyric like it’s a word coming from deep within his heart. And some of his harmonic choices – particularly in the backing vocals – are very well done indeed.
Save for a brief moment in the bridge when the drums and strings really hit hard, the song stays on the same level energetically for most of its three-ish minutes. I wouldn’t necessarily call it boring – it’s almost hypnotic, in a way – but for an artist aspiring to anything with “pop” in the name, a little more energy in the music is usually expected in my humble opinion. Never mind that, though – “Fool” is a perfectly decent track and I’m sure it’ll place well on playlists and such. It’s not like there isn’t an audience for a song like this but the opposite rather.
Where “Fool” really shines is in Vendetta’s lyricism and vocal delivery. The vocals are a bit drowned by the instrumental at times – the mixing could be a bit better – but I have to say, Vendetta is quite the vocalist. The lyrics, which focus on Vendetta asking “What have I done,” recount the story of someone who has turned his back on his friends “for a pot of gold”. Vendetta manages to sound genuinely upset as he sings; I don’t know if the story of the lyrics is true or not, but he makes it sound so true.
“Fool” isn’t exactly a smash hit – I would expect this to be more of an album track, really – but it’ll do fine on the playlists. It’s a solid piece of songwriting and arrangement. What I’d really love to hear from Robert Vendetta, though, is a more stripped-down song. Maybe just piano and vocals. I want to hear his voice really cut through – he’s clearly got the ability to sing a song and convey a deep emotionality. And while there’s some of that in “Fool,” this man could take that aspect of his musicianship to a whole other level.
Listen to "Fool" on Spotify here -
You can check out Robert Vendetta’s website here:
A brilliant addition to the repertoire -