Welcome to The Singles Bar, a review series focused on new single and song releases.
Truly finding yourself is one of the greatest journeys anyone can make. To go from masking your identity and pretending to be something for the sake of society’s gross expectations to fully embracing one of your core fibers is a marvel. Rayvon Owen, of American Idol fame, underwent the test of a lifetime. He fought his way tooth and nail through the garbled noise and a system built against the LGBTQIA community to have a revelatory breakthrough. Choosing to detail his coming out story in song, he roared from the mountaintops on 2016’s house-lite “Can’t Fight It,” accompanied with a stunning, romantic and glossy visual sequence. Two years later, after taking time off to hone is song craft, the singer steps back into the spotlight. “Gold” shimmers to the bone, discharging a glittery, euphoric explosion.
Written with Nate Merchant, the glowing, fire-proof track is a straight up bop and feels like an important moment for Owen, whose smooth, caramel voice was a sure highlight on Idol’s 14th season. “Whenever I write, it’s a stamp in time that captures the emotion of what I’m feeling that day,” he described of the song, which sits nicely in the Justin Bieber pocket while smacked with Owen’s own vibrant, classic imprint. “We were talking about coming out to L.A. and being out in the industry and how stressful that can be. He was kind of diggin’ someone, I had just started dating my boyfriend [Shane Bitney Crone, who has a rather tragic but empowered story to tell] and exploring being a gay man.”
He continued, “I’ve never felt that emotion before, being with someone like that. I’m getting chills right now just thinking about it. It’s been a long time coming for me to feel that. I know there’s so many other people who don’t get to feel that, but I’m hoping that they do when they come to terms with who they are.”
Owen was simply lovestruck, and his charm seeps onto the record, his confidence kicking into overdrive by the last few stanzas. “We’re changing the rules / I promise I won’t play those games with you,” he avows at the outset before a heavenly frenzy carries the song onto the dance floor. “Feeling good is gold / Almost invincible,” he chants, production thick and sprightly. While “Can’t Fight It” was more confessional, “Gold” is a fearless, colossal anthem.
People are gonna be dancing to this one for years.
Grade: 4 out of 5