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Raw Collective - Single Review: Simple Times

09 May 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries

I’m not here to list off Raw Collective’s pedigree.
Where they come from, where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going.  

I’m not going to tell you how far away that sax solo travelled to get here, or how filthy that rubber ducky baseline is. How clean those keys are, and how tightly them drums tie it all together.
You know the lines are tight, you know the vocals are smooth, you know the production is on point.  

Or how each of the around 36 members of the group gel together so cohesively that they make what they do seem effortless – and maybe it was for them - but it’s in no way as simple as it first sounds.  Each layer is intricate in itself, and complimentary of the rest.

Because you already know all this, and if you don’t, Raw Collective can tell you all that themselves.

No. I’m here to tell you how it sounds to me, and in truth…  
I’m kinda pissed off with Raw Collective’s new single Simple Times.

Yeah, I’ve talked before about that one advert for broadband, back when it was still a new concept in Aotearoa. That one where there was this internet collective of the most famous kiwi Hip-Hop stars of 2005, and how that really inspired me.  I’ve talked about it a lot.  Well, Raw Collective have only gone and done that for real, and it works better than I’d always hoped it would.

But it’s not jealousy, envy, what have you, that Raw Collective did what I could never do – mainly because I’m no musician and could never pull it off... But still.

That’s not what’s annoying me.

What’s pissing me off is Simple Times was quietly released just shy of New Zealand Music Month, and we’re now on what, day 9?  That means I’ve been staring (metaphorically) at this song for nearly two weeks, and I still don’t know how to review it.

It’s really difficult to be objective when Simple Times feels like home.  It feels classic.  It feels like us, in that whole one people / metaphysical sense.  It feels like it’s always existed, and was always meant to be.  The pieces of the puzzle came together the only way they could have, and it’s perfect.

There’s usually an angle, you know.  Some flaw you can skirt around (or totally ignore if you like the band enough).  They showed bravery for doing the complete opposite of what any other musician would do in that position.

I can’t even fall back on that…  There are no flaws. No mistakes. Nothing neglected or rushed.  
There is talent, optimism, and that bloody sax solo.

So all I’ll say is this. Simple Time is funky, jazzy, and grooves harder than any gym grunter.  It’s full of positive vibes, which is rare in this world, but positive vibes are what Raw Collective are known for, and it’s something they slap at.  

You can find Raw Collective’s Simple Times wherever you usually find music. I ain’t here to judge you on your choice of platform and for listening to music wrong.  What right do I have, when I let a simple review of an amazing song beat me.

Five of five stars.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Raw Collective

Appearing on the scene with their first music video Coins (Memories) which won single of the year on Radioactive.fm and support from independent radio stations across the country, Raw Collective set themselves on a path to make inspiring original music and back it up with an energetic live show.

Since then, the crew have released their debut full album gaining critical acclaim, write ups and radio play around the world.

The last two years have seen the band hit the road with two NZ tours and a successful 5-show Australian tour in March 2019.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Raw Collective


The Good Things
Year: 2021
Type: Album
For The Ancients
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Wise Horizons
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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