Ordinary Day - Single (2021)
Review By Dan Fister
March 2, 2022
"Music that'll move ya'". That's what Ball in the House promises and provides in its new original single, Ordinary Day, a powerful song written and arranged by soloist Wallace Thomas. Whether it's the lyrics, singing, or both that move you, you will feel something, if not everything, listening to the blues-style sermon by this Boston-based group.
Thomas describes the mixture of pain, yearning, and numbness he feels from seemingly unending gun violence and death with sophisticated yet accessible lyrics. With the repetition of "just another day" throughout the track, Thomas recreates for us a sliver of the monotony that comes from hearing the same devastating news day after day. Though he focuses on one issue early on, listeners might empathize and draw similarities to other ongoing issues — such as war, the opioid epidemic, or the COVID-19 pandemic — from which we also crave a change and a respite.
Ball in the House supports these serious lyrics by bringing its characteristic musicality and emotional energy to Thomas's arrangement. He delivers a nimble, pleading solo that, along with the blues background set by the other members, grows with each verse. By the song's climatic fourth stanza, Thomas improvises over a thick texture featuring a gospel choir, clapping, and Kevin Guest's convincing vocal imitation of a harmonica, a musical groundswell that has formed in response to Thomas's message. The song ends with one last repetition of Thomas's simple request, "just an ordinary day", and a final cadence. But it nonetheless feels unfinished because we, like them, are left without an answer as to whether history will ever stop repeating.