Music Review | Bassel & The Supernaturals — ‘Calculated Love’

Bassel & The Supernaturals release “Calculated Love” today, February 1. The track is from their forthcoming album, Smoke & Mirrors, slated to drop May 2019.

Bassel describes the song, saying, “Calculated Love is about everyday real love, watching movies with sweat pants on, eating pizza, exchanging memes. It sets a different tone for meaningful love by contradicting the Hollywood romance we all seem to be chasing after.”

The band, a nine-piece neo-soul/funk outfit, is fronted by Syrian-American Bassel Almadani. Their sound amalgamates elements of R&B, jazz, and cool funk. With lyrics embracing topics like love, loss, and war in Syria, a conflict touching the lives of ten million people, including the family of Bassel Almadani, the band shines a spotlight on important issues.

Their 2017 album, Elements, garnered vast praise, securing the band a spot on the 2017 SXSW ContraBand: #Music Unites stage, as well as performing at the John F. Kennedy Center, the Arab American National Museum, and a focus piece by the Associated Press. Bassel & The Supernaturals donated 20% of the profits from Elements to the Karam Foundation.

Bassel & The Supernaturals tour and perform relentlessly, and have shared the stage with Youssou N’Dour, Brother Ali, Aesop Rock, The Dandy Warhols, Emancipator, Sinkane, and a bevy of other artists.

“Calculated Love” opens on a radiant intro of smooth horns and a riffing guitar, and then flows into a funk-flavored soul tune. The tantalizing rhythm flexes and undulates, as bright horn accents fill the soundscape with oozing colors. Skiffing guitars infuse the harmonics with tight, delicious zest.

The highlight of the song is Almadani’s buff and buttery voice, full of creamy timbres riding on polished textures, cool and stylish. There’s a residual voluptuous filament of sensuality arising from his tones, spreading a luminous dust of amatory ambience over the music. Silky background harmonies provide lustrous depth, emphasizing Almadani’s soulful voice.

“Calculated Love” is calculated to first charm, and then captivate you with its sophisticated upmarket feel and posh velvety energy.

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