He Is We – My Forever
Record Label: FrameworkNY
Release Date: November 23, 2010
Rachel Taylor and Trevor Kelly are He Is We, an upbeat heartfelt pop duo. After meeting each other working at Ted Brown Music together in Tacoma, Washington, Taylor and Kelly began to make music in the back room there. Albeit he grew up on hardcore music and she was more pop influenced, the pair work together splendidly, evident throughout their debut record, My Forever. The result of this pair is an optimistic, encouraging record that is sure to bring a smile upon the listener’s face; even though the music and lyrics are rather ordinary and basic, that in no way diminishes the genuine feel-good atmosphere of the record.
Prevalent throughout the opening track “Forever And Ever,” Taylor’s soft vocals are the driving force behind He Is We, while Kelly simply provides fitting instrumentation behind her sugary melodies. A breath of fresh air and buoyancy, this opening track wholly conveys the inspiring mood of My Forever. Conversely, the following “All About Us” features soft guitar picking and light drum taps behind Taylor’s humble vocals. The Almost’s Aaron Gillespie makes an appropriate appearance here, as his gentle voice accompanies Taylor’s words stunningly through call and return pieces. “Everything You Do” is another addictive number demonstrating the versatility He Is We encompass with their sound.
Whereas all seems excessively poppy and sweetened thus far into the record, that is not to say that He Is We are incapable of possessing and fully representing a softer side. Soft piano begins “Happily Ever After” and keeps the pace through Taylor’s heightening vocal performance, easily one of the best vocal highlights of the record. Similarly, “Kiss It Better” is undoubtedly the most vulnerable point on My Forever, as the stripped down guitar and vocals allow only emotion to seep through. The result of this intricacy is simply: a precious track that is both poignant and haunting, inciting chills as Taylor’s gorgeous voice carries the stinging lyrics masterfully.
Clearly still feeling the effect of “Kiss It Better,” “Prove You Wrong” continues in the same nature, while the closing “Love Life” and “Fall” are true pop songs – nothing less, nothing more. With the former featuring addicting “la-la-la-las” and the latter closing Forever on a note nothing less than perfect, the record ends on an ideal note.
Through and through, He Is We consistently prove that the infectious vocal harmonies will turn heads, but that it’s ultimately the intricate, stripped down tracks that most separate the young artists from other acts in their genre. In this way, from beginning to end, Taylor’s soaring vocals shine throughout this debut record, while Kelly’s instrumentation accents the tone of each track ideally. For just a debut record, My Forever has set He Is We up for greatness.