‘Give ‘Em Back’ by Charles Pam makes me want to dance. Specifically, it makes me want to be in an r’n’b-soul club in the Bronx, to see my ex who’s just walked in, and then show him everything he’s missing with my sweet, sweet moves. I’ll settle for my bedroom for now, I guess. But this tune has such a solid groove – dancers, keep your ears out.
Charles Pam – Give ‘Em Back
As Cambridge-based Pam’s debut single, it’s a very strong start. His background as a multi-instrumentalist working in many genres is clear in the busy and eclectic production, which combines classic funk riffs with unexpected stabs of synths, piano, samples, and I think at one point even a harp? The lush harmonies are also a treat – Bruno Mars comes to mind – and Pam’s vocals show a lovely range. The melodies, particularly the ‘Give ‘em back’ chorus hook, are fun and memorable.
‘Give ‘Em Back’ stands firmly in the classic funk-soul tradition of lyrics, simple and emotive, as Pam delivers a kiss-off to his former lover and demands all his time, love and special moments back. Would that it were so easy! There’s a lot of classic, familiar sounds here, but mixed with surprising production elements and moments that give it some identity. Pam shows tenacity and versatility, having designed the song’s cover art and also started his own label, Messy Records. With an EP due in June, Charles Pam shows a lot of identity for a new artist, which should get him far.
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Words Eden Tredwell