Joshua Pearlstein / Wandering Degenerate / Single Review


“Wandering Degenerate” is a deep dive into the pressure cooker of Hollywood. It’s a song about the dark side of chasing fame, the masks we wear, and the relentless hunger that gnaws at your soul.

Joshua Pearlstein ditches sunshine melodies for a glitter-dusted descent into Hollywood’s underbelly with his sophomore single, “Wandering Degenerate.” This isn’t your typical Hollywood hopeful anthem. It’s a pulsating exploration of the industry’s dark side, wrapped in a deceptively catchy pop exterior.

Pearlstein weaves a soundscape that’s equal parts pop sheen and disco despair. Think Michael Jackson’s smooth seduction battling it out with a frantic Donna Summer vibe. It’s a perfect sonic storm for the song’s message: the crushing weight of chasing fame.

The song opens with an unsettling synth line that feels like walking into an exclusive club you weren’t quite invited to. Pearlstein’s voice croons a confession: “Cameras caught the action / What eyes shouldn’t see / I can’t repeat / Mask on, now I’m acting / Cause I can’t compete,” The mask is a metaphor – a constant reminder of the need to perform, even when everything inside is screaming. It’s about the pressure to contort yourself into something unrecognizable, just to be seen.

The pre-chorus and chorus are where the song truly takes flight. “My mind keeps playing lies / Left the manic on replay / Sing and let it be / Well that’s not good for me,” Pearlstein laments. It’s a relentless loop of self-doubt fueled by the insatiable need for validation. There’s a delicious irony in the upbeat melody juxtaposed with the dark lyrics, highlighting the facade most artists wear.

Synths shimmer and beats pound, a modern echo of disco’s glory days. The post-chorus hook, “I’m just wandering / Nobody will remember it,” is as catchy as it is heartbreaking. It’s a mantra for the forgotten dreamers, lost in the glittering labyrinth.

Forget the sunshine and palm trees. “Wandering Degenerate” is a pulsating dance anthem with a dark edge – the relentless chase for fame, and the hollowness that can follow. It’s for anyone who’s ever felt lost in the game, chasing a dream that seems to just get further away. With Berklee College of Music as his training ground, it’s clear Pearlstein’s got the talent and the grit to continue creating music that’s both entertaining and unflinchingly honest.

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