What hit me first with ENRY R’s latest single is the peculiar vocal style. Having hit me first as rough and hard to interpret, is ended us easily winning me over by the end of my second listen as quirky, unusual, compelling, and incredibly soulful.

ENRY is an Italian born artist who’s based in Brussels. A pianist first and foremost, his music revolves around his hearty chord strikes and delicious rhythmic chops, in the vein of Elton John. Take Off Your Vest is his second self-produced single, and it directly addresses the nine-to-five employee who’s unfortunately put in the situation where they had to forfeit their plans and jettison their dreams to fit within the societal structures that they grew up to find themselves surrounded by, telling them to show their wings and their true selves, and to stop living someone else’s plans. This eternally viable message is backed by a confident musical arrangement, led by Enry’s piano, which sounds grand, colorful, and warm. 

The composition is generally bright and major, with multiple, notable harmonic choices that stray from the beaten path, providing a great amount of depth to the composition, and bolstering the context of the words sung above them, such as the nuanced modulation underneath the lines “who’s behind the dress/vest you wear”, a left turn that compels you to pay attention. The bridge tells a lot about Enry’s musical heart. A richly dissonant and challenging section that rewardingly morphs into the driving, stable, and encouraging chorus. A bold move that took me by surprise, but ended up giving the entire song a much clearer direction.

Take Off Your Vest is occupied by Enry’s charming piano playing, his charismatic composition, and his peculiar and attractive singing. A song with a touching message, executed beautifully, this will be a song I return to time and again.