Album review: Guy Sebastian - Conscious
Guy Sebastian's CV reads like a Bible most of our reality TV hopefuls could only pine for.
A winner of Australian Idol in 2003, he has 40 platinum-certified releases, 10 albums and three million record sales to his name. He also spearheaded his country's first bizarre inclusion in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015. Yet, not too many people have heard of him here.
Why is this? He has stunning vocal capacity. That much is clear. He's got a decent team behind him - M-Phazes, Sarah Aarons and Trey Campbell in his corner on this one, and more.
There is no real clear answer. So maybe a bit of experimentation can help him out. “Yes, of course, there are pop songs on there – it’s just my style of writing – but it’s not terribly pop," he says of Conscious. "It’s quite experimental in some ways and soulful in other ways and less straight-up.”
So how is it?
We have elements of disco in High On Me. Dance club beats in Sober, sharp electro in Keep Me Coming Back and strained guitars in Exclusive.
As he says, it's not just a straight-up pop record and there is always something going on.
His vocals themselves are switching constantly. From deep and booming verses to some pretty high-octave choruses Guy shows that he's not afraid to attack a song from different angles.
In Bloodstone, for example, his range takes on almost Mariah Carey-like changes which are almost just showing off compared to us mere singing mortals.
He's then speeding up in the reverberating Vesuvius. The foot-tapping undercurrent pulls this track from start to finish and shows yet another string to the record's bow.
So will he be conquering another corner of the globe with this? It's hard to say. It's solid if not spectacular. And pop fans here already have their fair share of artists to choose from.
Perhaps Guy Sebastian is a name that may stay on the fringes of British culture for a while yet.
Guy Sebastian is expected to announce a European tour in the near future
Sister Sledge, Tavares, George McCrae, Boney M, Odyssey and more: 40 Years Of Disco, Genting Arena, Birmingham - REVIEW