Perfect - Single (2018)
Review By Kimberly Raschka Sailor
October 19, 2018
RARB last reviewed the Duke Pitchforks five years ago for the group's album Refraction. Reliably consistent, the Pitchforks continue their tradition of releasing high-quality work with mass appeal. Perfect is very pleasant — no one should remark otherwise — but could use an infusion of thoughtful creativity in its structure to give the piece something extra.
Regarding its structure, these background singers are remarkably committed to becoming a frame for the lead — they are so well-behaved, uniform and tight, that a casual listener might mistake this large group for a quintet. The straightforward chords and accented patterns unfold as expected in this ballad, and the singers hit all of their notes with precision and blend — no shortage of seasoned aplomb here. Obviously, it's far better to hear this kind of musical precision than anything less, but for my tastes, I'd prefer a little more of the lead's desperation and edge across all parts in this arrangement, even if that means a few voices pop out of the seams. Lyrically, I think that's a requirement for Sheeran's content here. Otherwise, it's all just a little too tame for the pleading at hand.
The star of the show is definitely soloist Will Kline, who shakes loose of the background containment to display vulnerability and rawness in Perfect. I believe what he's singing. He is romantic, yet strong. It's great stuff, and yes, he is certainly well-supported by the Pitchforks swaying along behind him.
A likeable pop ballad is a solid accomplishment. Onward, Pitchforks!