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Calum Scott, Only Human - album review

By Leigh Sanders | Entertainment | Published:

Piano pop has always had a strong footing in the chart world, but it may take a little more than this from Calum Scott to stand out from the crowd.

Tom Odell, Alicia Keys, Keane; there are some pretty huge names in recent years who have put the piano at the forefront of their music and invited everybody around to listen in.

So to follow in their footsteps you must have something gripping and unique up your sleeve. Even if you did finish as a runner up on Britain's Got Talent.

Calum Scott's debut record doesn't fall foul of anything in particular. It just plays like a mid-table football side who can't get promoted or relegated so don't push themselves to get results.

He has a smash hit among his ensemble already. Lead single - his version of Robyn's haunting Dancing On My Own - charted in 34 different countries on Spotify and has even lead to that catchy remix from Dutch super DJ Tiesto being included on the special edition of Only Human.

But even here the Brit Award-nominated best selling British single of 2016 fades into insignificance when placed as just another piano ballad with hushed vocals, despite its painfully heartbroken chorus.

We don't want to be overly critical, and return to the earlier point about this not really getting anything wrong.

He really pushes his voice in the soaring choruses in Hotel Room. The crescendo approach to the song leads to a grand finale that shows off hidden power within his vocal chords.

Stop Myself (Only Human) has a little more about it with its thumping dance beats underneath the keys. It pushes a bit more life into the record and suddenly Calum is awoken from the placid piano ballads to show another side to his playing. The same approach applies to the stomping Good To You.

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But the majority of this can sound like the track that came before it. A quiet start, you would hope he brings a few more tricks to the next party.

Rating: 5/10

Calum Scott brings his collection of piano pop ballads to Birmingham'sO2 Institute on April 22

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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