Black Music Matters Festival

Niko Moon

Good Time – 2020 (RCA Nashville)

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

CDs by Niko Moon

Niko Moon knew going into the studio that the programmed snare, synth bass and hip-hop fusion that pervades his "Good Time" EP may not strike the right chord with traditionalists. He did not care. He just wanted to make music that "makes people feel good." In fact, he was probably unfazed when the clichéd party anthem title track was picked as one of the best songs of the summer by the co-ed's guilty pleasure website College Candy.

The five songs make up a brief and breezy sampling with no teeth or hint of traditional instrumentation. Sticking to his happy vibe, the heartache song, "Drunk Over You" is an uptempo number that somehow manages to incorporate the slang word "faded." Nostalgia anthem" Way Back" is a glossy ode to going mudding, bar fights and wild nights.

Moon has a writing credit on every song and in addition to writing for Zac Brown Band, he was a member of the group Sir Roosevelt with Brown and Ben Simonetti.

It is not as if the material is poorly written or the melodies displeasing, given Moon's expectations of positivity but it feels like these songs would fare better in the hands of a jam band outfit like Zac Brown Band that would certainly make it sound more country. But that was not what Moon was going for anyway.