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Music Review

Conor Maynard: 'Contrast' - Album review

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Released on Monday, Jul 30 2012

Conor Maynard 'Contrast' artwork.
You can't blame Conor Maynard's frustration over constantly being compared to Justin Bieber. The Canadian teen has made it impossible to transcend from YouTube sensation to fully-fledged popstar without drawing comparisons, particularly when Maynard is one of the web's biggest success stories in recent memory. However, according to the Brighton lad, he'd rather be placed in the same bracket as Justin Timberlake and, whisper it, Michael Jackson.

It's a hefty ambition, but one that is admirably attempted throughout the 19-year-old's first studio album Contrast. Lead single 'Can't Say No' centres around a wobbly and bouncing bassline that nods to classic Timberlake, while opening number 'Animal' is driven by an aptly wild breakneck-beat destined to soundtrack dance troupes across the web.

While the urban-pop vibe sits comfortably alongside Maynard's snapback-toting style, the lyrics are somewhat of a mismatch with his boy-next-door persona. "Ey, shake, shake like you're famous girl/ Head back, lay it down like a Vegas girl," he demands on 'Vegas Girl', while he tells Rita Ora on 'Better Than You': "The way I got you going crazy/ I'll make you wanna dance for me." Despite both being co-writes from Conor, the content feels more like a by-product of his mentors rather than an expression of his teenage self.

Nevertheless, teachers Ne-Yo and Pharrell are on hand to join him for chart-friendly hits 'Turn Around' and 'Lift Off'. The former is a pulsing dancefloor ode to relationship solidarity, while the latter is a smooth-talking funk number complete with questionable compliments ("My wine would be sweet if you were my grape.") While Conor's ladykiller swag may not come across wholly convincing, his debut set remains an enjoyable introduction that will help shake off those more pesky comparisons.



Tracks to download: 'Animal', 'Can't Say No', 'Turn Around', 'Lift Off'
If you like this, you'll like: Chris Brown, Usher, Ne-Yo

Watch the music video for Conor Maynard's 'Vegas Girl' below:

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