Sunday, 1 April 2012

SOUL DEEP: Virgo brings depth, priceless hits to Layers of Soul

SOLO SPOTLIGHT: Virgo hits the right notes.

Watching Romain Virgo thrill a sizeable audience with his live one-man show on Sunday night’s instalment of Layers of Soul, it not only became clear that the ascendant singer-songwriter already has an impressive repertoire under his belt, but that he’s also possessed of compelling presence in performance – which is quite rare for someone his age in the industry. Vocally expressive and easily interactive with his audience, Virgo was stellar (and very energetic) through and through.

From popular cuts “Live Mi Life” and “Taking You Home” to fan favourites like “Love Doctor” and “The Rain Is Fallin,” the hour-long concert was an effortless stream of melodious reggae and raw emotion. The singer even found time to shatter the misconception that he has no versatility, reeling off some slick deejay rhymes at the end of “Live Mi Life.” Case closed.

Casually outfitted in a black bomber jacket, tee-shirt, jeans and dark shades, Virgo’s band kept pace with the 22-year-old vocalist, as he raised the profile of the performance with a reggaefied cover of Adele’s pain-soaked balled “Don’t You Remember?,” a natural fit for his multi-octave range. More or less, he did the song justice.

But the best was yet to come. New single “I Know Better,” off his eagerly awaited sophomore set, The System, proved a major highlight, as did the radio smash “Rich in Love” and the powerful social commentary of “System (Letting Go).” The show came to an end with the comically charged “Pon Me,” about getting more than his fair share of attention from the young ladies. Set to be his next single, the cut oozes a rich mento-meets-vintage-reggae vibe that makes it all the more appealing.

And that’s certainly an apt description of Virgo’s overall stint, which affirms what many of us knew all along: Romain Virgo is destined for greatness.

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