Bunny Sigler – Stand Up
Longtime Philadelphia native and R&B/soul music legend Bunny Sigler remains every bit as strong of a musical force late in his career as he stood at its peak. He might lack the commercial clout he once enjoyed, but Sigler now enjoys the twin results of two very different rewards. The respect accorded to him as one of the more important progenitors of a particular musical style makes him an in-demand figure for younger musicians to seek out for the reflected glory that working with him brings to their own careers. The second reward is just pure experience. Sigler is no longer beholden to chart positions and sales receipts in the same way that propelled his career as a young man. Instead, the confidence gained from experience allows him to follow his own muse with greater certainty than ever before.
There isn’t a single second of misstep to be heard on Sigler’s latest single. From its lush opening seconds and throughout its long, understand passages of pure sultry groove, Bunny Sigler and his collaborators sound like an outfit in full control of the proceedings and intent on delivering a memorable entertainment experience. Musicians and performers of this caliber avoid all self-indulgence – instead, all of their energies are turned towards realizing the artist’s vision for the song. This highly expressive musical vehicle gives Sigler an ideal launching pad for his gently assertive plea to the downtrodden to stand as one against forces of injustice and oppression. Sigler’s tone is never strident or preachy and the lyrics retain enough generality to make this a particular effective anthem never straining for its desired effects.
Sigler’s vocal is the lynchpin. He steers himself through the vocal with absolutely no fuss and frequently offers up evidence why he long ago earned the moniker Mr. Emotion thanks to his unusually expressive performances. His phrasing helps pull this off. You can hear Sigler’s engagement with every word and the split second decisions he makes to alter the song’s emotional trajectory give it an unexpectedly fresh feel. He knows how to make ample use of the song’s anthemic qualities without ever making things too overwrought. This is key for a song like this to have much lasting effectiveness; otherwise things simply descend into novelty.
The final song to his latest full length studio release Bundino is a rhythmically interesting, lyrically sharp, and expertly performed piece of music./ It shows that, far from fading gentle into any good nights, Bunny Sigler still craves a place on the front lines of popular music and seems determined to prove his continued worth. Songs like “Stand Up” do that and more. This is a powerhouse showing from one of R&B/soul’s true remaining giants, a product of a bygone age and one of many who’s like we will never see again. Catch the buzz while it’s still available. Bunny Sigler is hardly a relic or ready for any museum.