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  • Giavanna Gradaille

Review: "Vulnerable" - Kayden McCarthy

One of my favorite fictional characters within literature and film is Gomez Addams from The Addams Family. He’s the patriarch of his family but stands in complete opposition to what audiences have come to expect from men. To sum it up neatly: Gomez is a man that’s comfortable with being emotionally vulnerable with the ones he loves. So, when songs like Kayden McCarthy’s “Vulnerable” spring up, I’m filled with overwhelming joy that we're paving a space to have open discussions about how men can express vulnerability.

"Vulnerable" is a moody, pop single with heavy elements of soul and R&B. The song details the desire to be emotionally vulnerable and how this desire conflicts with societal expectations of masculinity. The song opens with slow, heavy guitar picking leading into the first verse, giving listeners a laidback atmosphere while simultaneously setting them up to embrace turbulence. This verse drips with imagery that feeds into the traditional archetype of masculinity. My favorite piece of imagery is McCarthy comparing himself to a gun; revealing he's "locked and loaded" but is only aiming to be "emotionless" because this falls in line with what's expected of him, unfortunately. This verse builds up to a drop which then brings on an enriched chorus backed by an enticingly sexy electro-pop rhythm. The chorus highlights the artist's desire to be emotionally vulnerable to better himself, and to preserve and foster current relationships. When the chorus comes around again, listeners hear him vocalize; "She wanted me vulnerable / She wanted me", before disclosing in the third verse that 'she' left because of his inability to open up. "Vulnerable" much like Gomez Addams, I think, helps shift the narrative around masculinity and how emotional vulnerability is not detrimental to it.

Singer and songwriter, Kayden McCarthy, is a native Jerseyian with ties to Amsterdam, NL where his love affair with music began. Now a Chicago local, McCarthy is influenced by multiple genres ranging from early 2000s R&B to current electro-pop. With a distinctive sound locked down, the artist’s grittier lyrics draw attention from all kinds of music lovers. “Vulnerable” is the first single to be released from an upcoming album from the artist. Until more info on the album is dropped, you can show McCarthy some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows.

Written By Giavanna Gradaille



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