Calum Scott

8 albums, 34 tracks

Born in Oct 12, 1988

Pop

Narratives

"Calum Scott"

Mar 11, 2019

There’s Only Room For One British Heartthrob & Calum Scott Hopes It’s Him On Only Human

camjameson
Written by @camjameson from Extraneous Routes  / 6 mins read
#CalumScott#OnlyHuman#Deluxe#Pop#ClassicPop#PopSoftRock#Vocal

To be frank, I’d pretty much given up on the prospect of primetime reality singing competitions ever producing another popstar after Kelly Clarkson won the first ever American Idol back in 2002; The whole production model just didn’t seem sustainable to me & every time I watched another season ‘America’ would send home my favourite artists who so clearly had the most talent of the bunch, resulting in me losing faith entirely in the brand when other shows like America’s Got Talent or X-Factor started popping up here & there – Now, in my ignorance, I’d stopped paying attention to the British side of these shows which is undeniably where all the best talent comes from in these shows, a la One Direction & Little Mix, so when singer-songwriter Calum Scott made his mainstream debut on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2015 I had absolutely no idea who he was for the longest time, easily confusing him with Liam Payne & purposely staying as far away from his music as I possibly could. To my joyous surprise, though, I stumbled upon his 2018 album Only Human whilst doing some research for work, finding myself pleasantly taken-aback by how absolutely brilliant his compositions were, flipping my expectations on their head & giving me a newfound respect for a musician I’d so easily written off mere months before.

Cinematic-Quality Romance On An Indie Budget

One of the things that immediately caught my attention on Only Human was just how expressive Calum Scott was across the majority of its track-list, not only in the extreme sensitivity of his narratives but in the larger-than-life scale of his instrumental composition, producing songs that grab you & take you for a fully-realized journey through human emotion that’s admittedly Pop-py but never once embarrassing to listen to – If you throw it back to the late-nineties & early-noughties era of Pop instrumentation you’ll find that this sort of sonic aesthetic once ruled the airwaves, whether it was the brilliantly-sinematic atmosphere of the songs that were perfect for whatever new Spiderman movie was out that year, the flowing orchestral chord progressions that kept you locked in a state of adorative passion or the grandiose storylines shared in their lyris; All of this & more is present in songs like “If Our Love Is Wrong” & “You Are The Reason,” rekindling much of what was lost from Classic Pop in the last decade by giving the non-digital side of music production a space to shine as radiantly as it wants to, changing the mainstream perception of what Pop is supposed to be like by reminding listeners you cans till enjoy yourself with a self-contained, non-danceable storyline that’s designed for nothing more than pulling at your heartstrings – Seriously, take a look at today’s top acts & see if you can find a strictly-Pop artist as prolific as Adele, The Fray, Third Eye Blind or any of those who defined the earlier part of this century & you’ll see there’s virtually no representation for that style of music at all these days, at least before Scott came around.

The UK Comes Out To Play

Another noteworthy sonic element of Only Human is how overwhelmingly British it is in terms of melodic composition, finding a way to tie-in all of the most popular subgenres from the UK music industry without feeling like anything is forced or insincere – Too elaborate, here in America there’re only a handful of styles hitting the mainstream audience at any given time, with every separate genre copying the same radio-friendly trends as another genre just to get air time, resulting in a pretty non-existent tonal variety across the industry. Taking this as an opportunity to really stand out on his own, Calum Scott incorporates all manner of intriguind melodic elements across Only Human that represent the entire UK music culture beautifully, dipping his toes into Breaks Beats & Progressive Pop on tunes like “Give Me Something” that mixes in elements of modern vocal chopping & Hip Hop-influenced drum sequences while others like “Rhythm Inside” showcase the breadth of his songwriting prowess, delivering bright, giddy dreamscapes of delicate Dance Pop arpeggiators & airy anthem synths that capture the feminine beauty of the British Diva House & Electronica scenes; He even grabs segments of Trap instrumentation by way of incessant triplet-snares & the faintest bit of Tropical Pop personality throughout other songs on the record, coming full-circle with compositions that convey every separate style you could possibly want alongside all the UK-centric subgenres we just don’t hear on the radio here in America – It’s truly the best of both worlds, further illustrating how astonished I am that this record is so compelling to begin with.

Plenty Of Talent To Keep The Train Running For Years

Perhaps the truest testament to an artist’s talent is their ability to produce a tonally-unique cover of another artist’s material without losing their individual identity, reshaping the tune into an equally-captivating composition that doesn’t do a disservice to the original – In a move I wouldn’t have believed without seeing it myself, Calum Scott manages to not only pass this test but fill in the extra credit answers as well, producing an astoundingly-riveting cover of Synth Pop goddess Robyn’s iconic “Dancing On My Own” that captures that utter devastation of heartbreak she originally created but with a whole new ballad-like aesthetic that breathes new life into the mix. While I normally despise any song that utilizes a back-&-forth piano rhythm over predictable chord progressions, it works pretty well here, giving Scott the freedom to belt out notes like nobody’s business from beginning to end, emoting beautifully not only in his vocal performance but in his physical one as well within the accompanying music video; It gains an especially heartwarming level of greatness seeing as the song acts as somewhat of a gay anthem for the freshly-out-of-the-closet singer, mirroring Robyn’s status as a gay icon with another take on a song designed to make you feel what it’s like to feel alienated within your own skin in romantic & platonic scenarios – In all honesty, Scott would’ve made an absolute killing if he’d hit the scene one or two decades ago, as everything on Only Human feels analogous to the piano-heavy Rock arrangements & symphonic pleasantries of early Coldplay or James Blunt material, putting him on a whole other echelon of Pop greatness. Does this mean I’ll go out & buy tickets to his next tour & preorder whatever deluxe album he has coming out next year? Probably not, but I’ve certainly gained a newfound respect for an artist who absolutely deserves our praise.

Mar 04, 2019

Exceptionally Emotional Vocals Can Only Be Human On Calum Scott’s Album ‘Only Human’

taylor
Written by @taylor / 6 mins read
#CalumScott#OnlyHumanDeluxe#ClassicPop#Pop#DancePop#SynthPop

Calum Scott; another UK artist literally killing it in the R&B/Soul/Pop scene. Just discovered this miraculous human being, and have been jamming to my favorite joints on his accomplished album Only Human, a vocally-centric Pop record which strikes you immediately from the first track “If Our Love Is Wrong”, a swirling, liquid symphonic beat that carries much sophistication and a heavy emotional weight, hitting very subbed down frequencies as Calum Scott delivers lyrical, whimsical vocalizations that are instantly arresting. It’s small wonder that this budding star has some skin in the game, already having honed his skills by both competing on 2015 Britain’s Got Talent, and also fronting a Maroon 5 tribute band, cheekily calling it Maroon 4. The man is destined for fame, as I find his vocals comparable with Sam Smith’s, if slightly less soulful and acrobatic. To the point, Sam Smith is the heir apparent of British Pop Soul, but we are talking apples and oranges, as what we gain with Calum Scott is tons of vocal diversity, even if on certain songs, he gets a little too throaty whilst chasing some dead end style on “Not Dark Yet”, though even in this, his soulful belting leads to triumph. It is extremely refreshing that in this day and age, with Pop music blending so much with auto-tuned sing-rap styles, or overlayed artificial synthetic support, that a real and dynamic voice can reach my ears without any filtering or barriers.

Triumphant Indeed Are These Songs, Sometimes Bombastic, Sometimes The Calm Before The Storm

If you enjoy bombastic, tambourine shaking, bang on the toms music, you should truly dig the revivalist Soul Pop drama of “Give Me Something”, and likewise, the Ed Sheeran styled folk tribalism of “Come Back Home”, or the best of the Soul stirring bunch – “Won’t Let You Down”, a gospel track which begins with some echoing finger snaps and transitions amazingly into haunted chords and a cleverly designed rhythm, made memorable thanks to some delayed hits over waltzy strings. The soaring harmonies are out of this world especially on this tune, yet with an album that pushes this style several times, this ‘mode’ does eventually wear thin by the time we arrive at a rafter-banging, more electronic version of the same idea, “Good To You”, which is somewhere between the excellence of the aforementioned tracks, though by now, it sounds a bit redundant coming on the tail end of the album. There is some calm to enjoy as well, with a pretty yet standard piano ballad piece called “You Are The Reason”, which features cinematic strings mixing with the simplicity of the piano, quite sedate until another huge gospel overture adds voluminous strength, gliding up against Calum Scott’s very English voicing. Not for the first time, there is a distinct Sam Smith feel, but hey, they share the same market.

Through The Undeniable Commercialism, Nuanced Tracks Do Pierce Through

I found the title track “Stop Myself (Only Human)” to be very commercial, technically sound, and the perfect Pop track to get back with that person who is open to second chances. It’s beat rumbles, the cacophony of rhythm being a good match for the emotional vocals, yet there was a slight dullness to the arrangement that makes me question why this would be the flagship song. Another curiosity is that it borrows a hook and melody, at least partially, from The Human League’s famous track “Human”, yet, I do appreciate that it is an extreme reworking of the originally song, as opposed to being a straight cover of it, and in this way, it should be fresh to many listeners. So I suppose there is that nuanced songwriting at work, and there are other examples, such as when Calum Scott’s voice goes pleadingly discordant on the – check out this description – Irish/Phil Collins/Adam Levine vocal mixture, which blesses the sad song “Dancing On My Own.” This is a great example of Scott’s nuanced, dynamic abilities, also on display on the clock-is-ticking beat of “Only You”, with some of the most haunting, liquid sounds on the entire album – a dead ringer for both a Coldplay track and also a David Gray ballad. It just gets bigger and bolder as it rises on the tail of this great melody backed by a simple, electrified drum set. I noticed additionally some challenging musical and lyrical compositions explored on track “Rhythm Inside”, a Coldplay-esque, pulsating mini-beat coupled with toy piano whimsy that accentuates the ‘one’ on it’s time signature, perfectly reflecting the romantic heartbeat concept of the title, while the bonus track on this special edition album is another similar tranced up concept, remixing the melody of “Dancing On My Own” into an even more electronic soul warming dance track thanks to DJ Tiesto’s magic touch.

From U2 to David Gray, Calum Scott Channels More Than One Might Expect

It’s hard to pick favorite songs, because I admit that I have some pretty eclectic tastes in music, and have heard a lot of the same versions of Pop, but I would say, as far as breakbeat bombastic Soul Pop music goes, a song like “Give Me Something” sounds cooler to me and less ‘packaged’ than popular tracks from the likes of Rag n’ Bone Man or Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Again, what’s cool is that Calum Scott switches his styles up, whether it’s vocally or with respects to arrangement, which I think is the best thing a Pop artist can do, since the genre is allowed to be so open ended. Looking back though, I would have to say my two favorite tracks were the beautiful poetry of “Only You”, which put me right back on the rainy streets of London, where I visited years ago, and where I first heard and bought David Gray’s amazing CD “White Ladder”, which exhibits the same sweeping melancholy I so adore, while another fave is completely opposite in feeling – a sweeping, motoring rock song in the vein of U2 anthems, called “What I Miss Most.” Here, I feel like shouting out to the heavens while perched on some Northern England Bluff, contemplating the gray and green landscape, just as Callum’s lyrics symbolize his love for his homeland, however ambiguous the words play out. If you ask me, this should have been the title track man.

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Biography

"Calum Scott"

Born

    1988-10-12

Active

    2013–present

Label

  • Capitol

About

Calum Scott (born 12 October 1988) is an English singer and songwriter. In 2013, he won a talent competition put on by his local newspaper. In 2015, he became known worldwide after competing on the popular television show Britain's Got Talent. He subsequently released his version of Robyn's hit "Dancing On My Own" as a single, which reached number two on the UK Singles Chart and became the best-selling song that summer in the UK. In 2018, he collaborated with Leona Lewis on the single "You Are the Reason".
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