Friday, November 6, 2009

Album Review of "Like it Like That" Artist: Guy Sebastian

There's a lot to like! Says reviewer Bryan Patterson:

I may sue Guy Sebastian. His insanely catchy little track, with its stupidly seductive flute, guitars and choruses, has been playing over and over in my head for days.

In fact, several of the songs from the inaugural Australian Idol winner’s fifth album are addictive enough to qualify as “song worms” (yes, it’s a scientific term for ditties that refuse to leave the head).

Sebastian seems to excel at writing radio friendly pop tunes, but they aren’t all like that.

His big love is for groove-laden classic soul, which he did so well on his commercial and credible offering from 2007, The Memphis Album.

This one is much in the same vein, but based on his original material rather than classic covers.

Is it old-fashioned? A little, but that’s not a bad thing when the music is in the hands of a writer and singer of Sebastian’s calibre.

Happily, Sebastian’s big soul songs have more of an upbeat New York sound than the slick and imposed LA production that seems to be the fate of most Idol winners.

It is now time to forgive and forget that Sebastian had his start in a sometimes exploitative and often tacky TV talent show.

When you’re good – really good – inauspicious starts don’t really matter (after all, Deborah Harry started her career as a Playboy bunny).

Sebastian has paid his dues and finally found his sound. And it’s good music, all written or co-written by the young man.

All to Myself and Attention, with their catchy beats and storming organ and brass sounds, could have come out of the Motown 1960s hit studios. Magic, a duet with the relatively unknown Tarryn Stokes, could have blasted from an English hit-making factory during the same era.

Then there are the modern touches --- a saucy duet called Art of Love with American Idol singer Jordin Sparks, a quirky mix of current styles on Undo and some very nice guitar flourishes from Sebastian’s mate John Mayer.

Naturally, there are some gorgeous ballads. Bring Yourself is the big soul number delivered by a classy singer who knows how to drag emotion from a tune. Otis Redding could not have done better.

Fail to Mention also hits the mark and most fans will like the rather personal closer Perfection, which he wrote for his wife, Julie, and first sang it publicly on their wedding day.

Like it Like That is not perfection, but it’s the best and most cohesive original album that Sebastian has yet delivered. It’s definitely worth hearing, but watch out for those insidious song worms.

Guy Sebastian Links:
Official Website
Official Forum
Comprehensive Wikipedia