March 9, 2018 Calum Scott – Only Human (Album Review)
Those good British folk might know Calum Scott from his time on Britain’s Got Talent, but for those of us across the pond, he is a brand-spanking-new singer-songwriter who arrives with his debut LP, Only Human, Friday, March 9, 2018, thanks to Capitol Records.
British Singer-Songwriter Calum Scott is, yes, best known for his 2015 stint as a contestant on the widely-popular Britain’s Got Talent. His cover of Robyn’s hit “Dancing On My Own” would go on to reach #2 on the UK Singles Chart and become most downloaded song of the summer of 2016 in the UK. Of course, success never comes overnight and, previously, Scott had toiled in a Maroon 5 cover band, won the Mail’s Star Search talent competition, and been part of an Electronic duo entitled The Experiment with John McIntyre. So, you know, Scott knows a little something about music and what it takes to entertain!
Ready to prove that he has something that your ears need, Scott offers up his debut album, Only Human, a fourteen-track collection that crosses from Pop into Soul and yet always remains danceable and perfectly sincere.
Only Human begins with the gently emotive vocals of “If Our Love Is Wrong,” which sit alongside subtle electronics, setting a relaxing mood that is fully Pop with a delicate embrace of Dance. The joyous, dancing rapture of “Give Me Something” injects a bit of sass that flows perfectly into the hip-shaking, finger-snapping search for love that is “Rhythm Inside.”
Passionate and soulful ode “You Are the Reason” (“I’d spend every hour of every day keeping you safe”) – which features fellow British Singer-Songwriter Leona Lewis – goes all-in for love then leads to the burning invitation to “Come Back Home.” Meanwhile, the pulsating beats of “Only Human,” the album’s namesake, allow listeners to let loose again. Scott’s signature cover of “Dancing On My Own” is the emotional, piano-anchored confession of an overlooked lover that sets the scene perfectly for his original, “Only You,” a sincere homage to a best friend that saw through the pain and shame to embrace the beautiful man hiding beneath the bullied teen.
The wonderfully soulful “Won’t Let You Down” sees Scott soaring to vocal heights alongside a choir, before breaking into the dance beat of “What I Miss Most.” Minimalist and poignant ballad “Hotel Room” highlights Scott’s vocals alongside piano and somber strings, while “Good To You” is a promise to be a good lover set alongside an addictive drum beat that will force you out onto the dance floor. Stripped-down “Not Dark Yet” ultimately leads to the album’s closer, a bonus remix of “Dancing On My Own” by brilliant Dutch DJ and remix maestro Tiësto.
Only Human is a solid collection that proves that Calum Scott is in-league with his fellow Brit Sam Smith, but less soul-filled and more dance-y than the wildly talented Smith. Considering this is a debut for Scott, Only Human is a promising collection that shows the myriad of influences peppered into Scott’s hip-shaking sound; there is a lot of Pop, some Blue-eyed Soul, and an all-around good time that candidly sings of love and loss. Scott better wear some shades, because the future is looking pretty bright! For these reasons, CrypticRock.com give Calum Scott’s Only Human 3.5 of 5 stars.