ALBUM REVIEW: F. Virtue – A Single Green Light
With introductory synths building into the signifying hallmark of vogue via the Masters At Work‘s 1991 track “The Ha Dance,” F. Virtue‘s new album, A Single Green Light, starts off on an unexpected note. Combining elements of house, vogue/ballroom and rap, F. Virtue creates a 7-track compilation of work that is experimental by nature without trying to be different just for the sake of wanting to stand out.
His influences are clear but enticing, and each track holds an inviting purpose and its own unassuming form of self-expression. The album is bold, poetic and balanced, with themes inspired by The Great Gatsby, the city after midnight and his husband.
As a special tribute to F. Virtue’s husband, A Single Green Light is divided into 7 tracks (a personal favorite number) and clocking in at 22 minutes in celebration of the date the couple met and also was wed on. It’s the small, hidden details that make this album stand so strong and unique, hooking listeners to take a deeper look at its obscure beauty. Musically, it is a layered album that takes on several directions, tied together by the distinct and multidimensional vocal stylings of F. Virtue.
The album, as presented in the physical world with a special edition USB + custom hydra-printed lanyard from Manhattan’s La Petite Mort, holds a strong New York City grittiness to it, finding love in dark places, fighting against doing what’s easiest and believing in optimism after expressing concerns with cynicism. The storytelling style of the vocals are heartfelt and filterless, with lyrics such as, “If you don’t lose it first, I will watch your hair turn grey” on “Sleep Watching” and “We appear like we must have royal blood, so happy in our buzz but we’re just as sad as you,” on “Gatsby.”
With realism such as, “dying every second I try not to forget it,” F. Virtue takes us through the ugliness of glamour, the morbidity in life and the prevailing comfort love holds. It is truly an important journey that F. Virtue shares, and the album both lyrically and in its production takes many risks that seem effortless to his vision. There is a confidence behind this album that is endearing, especially in a world that can, at times, be unforgiving of blunt honesty.
“Growing Old” stands out on the album as an anthem, with a repetition that holds conviction. The video for this track also features footage from the artist’s own wedding on a rooftop in Brooklyn and is an extremely fitting and charming visual.
F. Virtue is really onto something with this release, combining his daily, multi-faceted influences into his individual perspective in music. While many artists spend their careers trying to find and define their own sounds, F. Virtue has gotten to a place where he has found his voice and has given it room to evolve over time. While some themes, patterns and rhymes may stay consistent for this musician through his many releases, F. Virtue’s ability to hone his talents and draw from his personal tastes enable his music to stand strong in the ever-changing soundscape of underground New York City.
F. Virtue has something that can’t be taught, (but can be practiced), and displaying that is his biggest achievement with this album.
A Single Green Light was written and produced entirely by F. Virtue, with cuts by DJ Emoh Betta, with support from Daniel J. W!shington on “Le Bain” and “As Of Forever,” and support on “Growing Old” from Skylar Sarkis, and was mixed and mastered by Tenacity.
You can celebrate the release of A Single Green Light with F. Virtue this Saturday in New York City, hosted by La Petit Mort. RSVP here.