Ray Goren is a noted musical prodigy at only 15 years old, releasing his latest EP “Songs For You” produced by Grammy Award-winning artist Steve Jordan on August 21, 2015. Although he is talented, Goren is falling short of his potential by making music that makes people cry of boredom.
Goren, a singer and multi-instrumentalist, began playing keyboard at the age of three and guitar at the age of eight. Soon after learning guitar, Goren started to perform live and write his own music.
Goren has already had the opportunity to work with legends such as Leon Russel, Robby Krieger, Buddy Guy, Eddie Kramer and Steve Jordan.
Along with “Songs For You,” Goren released “LA Sessions” EP, produced by Kramer, and the “Save My Soul” EP on most digital outlets, including iTunes and Spotify.
Jordan, who has worked with musicians like Beyoncé and John Mayer, avidly expressed his excitement about producing Goren’s music.
“I’ve worked with a ton of great and legendary musicians in my career and Ray is one of the most gifted artists I’ve ever witnessed. The fact that he is so good, at his age, just blows my mind. Between his guitar and piano playing, songwriting and singing, he is a special talent,” says Jordan.
“Songs For You” is composed of four original tracks and a cover. All five songs give off the same boring feeling that can be somewhat painful at times to listen to.
Goren’s music gave off an old, elevator music feel rather than showcasing his smooth, young, raw talent in music.
The first song and the lead single “Those Days” is a piano driven song with influences of gospel, funk and 60’s soul.
The lyrics center on how Goren sees the world, the current events and conflicts shaking his life.
After listening to the song, I realized one of the conflicts in my life is Goren’s music. The song does not fail to showcase the young artist’s talent, but it does fail to keep me interested or wanting more.
This being the first song I heard from Goren, I was less than inclined to go out in search of more of his music. I felt the song was pushing too hard to try and incorporate so many genres that I do not even know what category it ends up in. The song felt old and more like something my grandparents would listen to on a car ride. The gospel influence aged the music in a negative way.
When I asked others to listen to the song with me, because misery seeks company, I was turned down by more than three people after the song did not catch our attention after the first minute.
The next song – “Down & Out” – had more of a slow, melodic blues feel to it. It was even more boring than the first, if that is possible.
Again, the song showed depth in its lyrics and maturity in all aspects, but was very slow and I found myself dozing off. I also found my friend asleep next to me with the earbud still in her ear.
The overall feel of the song was one you might hear being played at a wedding when everyone is eating, but the lyrics were too sad for even that. It is the kind of song that would be put in a bathroom to encourage people not to linger in there.
“The actual quality of the song wasn’t that great and I feel like they’re [his producers] making him seem older than he is. There’s no doubt that he has talent, but he should make music to fit his voice,” says sophomore Alexa McDaniel.
The two following songs, “Song For Me” and “It’s On You,” had the same 60’s feel that left me in a slump. I had to space out when I listened to them because it actually pained me to waste my precious time on such music.
The music made me feel like I was 80 years old in a retirement home admiring my grandson’s singing from the state fair for the fifth time that day. It was all very repetitive and had a sluggish mood. In fact, I would not even torture my grandparents with listening to it.
The final song, a cover of “Light My Fire,” showed off Goren’s talent with guitar and vocals incredibly, but even the song itself was old. The song had a different, more blues feel to it, and I could actually consider listening to it for the first few seconds, but it never moved. It was four minutes of pain, anxiety and eventual anger toward Goren for wasting his amazing talent on these songs.
As the EP went on, I got an undeniable urge to shake Goren and remind him that he is 15, and he should not be making music for patients in hospice care.
The only way I can explain it is that Goren has an old vibe, and by old I mean that I have seen some corpses with more excitement and energy than portrayed in this EP.
“This kid has such potential and maturity in his sound, but it’s making him give off such an old person sound. His talent is holding him back almost,” says sophomore Breanna Craparotta.
When I got a crowd together to listen to the EP and make comments, two people actually had to leave because they could not stand the music. One of them fell asleep and the other one actually started crying because she was so upset that I was making her listen to “this monstrosity.”
After gritting our teeth, a fresh pot of extra strong coffee, and some bribery, we were able to finish the EP. Needless to say, no one was rushing out to buy his music.
We were, however, googling pictures of Goren and ended up shamefully laughing at the pictures he chose to use to represent himself.
Goren chose to do a photoshoot holding his guitar and walking dramatically through graffiti painted walls and overflowing trashcans with barbed wire fences and school buses in the background. Instead of an artsy grunge vibe, I got the feeling Goren was part of a gang.
Along with the unsettling location, every picture of Goren showed him looking deep into our souls, staring us down, and eventually we all decided he looked creepy as heck and we actually became scared of him.
I will not even get started on his hair cut because I will start crying. The only way I can explain it is that it is worse than 2011 Justin Bieber.
After listening to the EP, there is no denying Goren has musical talent, but he needs to alter his sound; otherwise, the height of his career will be when his music is used as a “what not to do” example in a high school music class.
What do you think of Ray Goren?