The impressive opener “Running” contains deep beats, massive synths and techno vibes. In this Beckah-Shae-meets-V.-Rose style anthem, Natalie sings about how we can only find our security through Christ.
“1st Love” has the potential to be a bold declaration of faith in Jesus despite this world’s distractions, but it falls slightly short due to the clichés and pop culture/social media references in the writing. What redeems it and ties everything together are the groovy rhythm and guitar-driven power chords.
Along the same lines, the funky vibes are strong in “Desert Rose,” my personal favorite. It sounds like a song you might hear at a coffee shop or an open mic night. It also sounds like a late-night jam session with a group of insanely talented musicians, and the poetic lyrics are icing on the cake: “Desert rose, your beauty comes from the supernatural.” The dreamy, surfer-like guitar chords complete this masterpiece.
The EP’s ballad and title track, “Symphony,” appropriately begins with strings. The music and lyrics mesh well together, adding a touch of intrigue at the beginning of the second verse. All the metaphors work well: “Everything just feels so out of tune;” “You’re the Great Conductor;” “I wanna be Your symphony, a holy harmony;” and “Come and play the strings of my heart / ’til my life becomes Your perfect art.” The strings interwoven throughout the song add the perfect touch.
“Masquerade” blew me away with the immediately catchy intro, dubstep-like rhythms under a melodic piano, and chopped-up synths. However, the interjections “Take off your mask. / Take it off! Now!” and Joseph Vargas’ screaming in the bridge don’t quite seem to fit with the rest of the song. I will give Natalie credit for stepping out of the box and trying something that hasn’t been done too often. The alternative version is the exact same sans Vargas, which sounds slightly more polished.
The Bottom Line: Natalie Villa has truly composed songs that will speak to just about everyone, and she will definitely rise in popularity if she keeps doing what she’s doing now and staying authentic. Expect to see and hear a lot more of her in the coming years!