Finally the US can go crazy over this UK producer/singer/songwriter visionary. Labrinth brings this six track EP Beneath your beautiful state side, and all I can say is, if you’ve never heard of him, get to hearing.
Labrinth, or Timothy McKenzie, first set the music scene in the UK ablaze in 2010 when he produced fellow Brit Tinie Tempah’s first two singles Pass Out and Frisky– Pass Out reaching number one. Then music tycoon Simon Cowell got smart and signed Labrinth to his label after hearing some of his other songs including Let the Sun Shine, which later became Labrinth’s first UK single. This reached number three on the UK chart. Then came his debut album Electronic Earth in 2012, which had hit singles Earthquake which reached number two and Beneath Your Beautiful featuring Emeli Sandé, which reached number one.
The Beneath Your Beautiful EP includes six tracks featured on Electronic Earth including Beneath Your Beautiful, Let the Sun Shine and Earthquake.
The title track Beneath Your Beautiful serves as Labrinth’s debut US single. The 24-year-old says the song was created to show his fans he’s just a normal guy. He said, “I’m sure a lot of people wanted to see the real me, instead of me acting like a pop star who thinks he’s better than everybody. I think it’s a great introduction to who I am. Because I’m saying, ‘Let’s not front. I want to be honest with you, and hopefully you’ll be honest with me, and we can create something special from there.’”
Beneath Your Beautiful is a slow ballad, which brings on intense emotion from its listeners. The song resonates with you, without becoming too much of an ode to feeling sorry for yourself, and Sandé’s appearance helps to heighten this feeling.
The next song on the EP, Express Yourself, is a super catchy, step to the side and click, old timey flavoured piece of genius. It gets harder in the chorus with a heavy base that stops you side stepping and starts you head banging. So Labrinth can do ballads and pop? Let’s listen on.
We next come to Let the Sun Shine. It’s also super catchy, and has a mellow sound along the same lines as Express Yourself, except that its’ more of a usual pop song – a more expected sound than Express Yourself. Treatment has more of a rock vibe. It sounds like something from Maroon 5 or more recently One Republic. Rock, pop, ballads – how is he doing this? He is just one man.
Then we come to the track to stop you in your tracks. Earthquake has such a new and innovative sound. Right from the beginning when the robot says “Labrinth come in” to the intense head banging dubstep sounds, to Tinie Tempah’s brilliant appearance towards the end of the track – it’s a keeper. A memorable, distinctive song that makes you go, “who the hell is this guy, and why does his music have this effect on my body?”
And lastly Vultures is a slower anthemic electro song, with sad, emotive undertones – not quite reaching the expressive heights of Beneath Your Beautiful, but if you were feeling like no one understands you, you can rest easy because Labrinth is here to tell you that like a vulture, you can fly.
So there you have it. Within this six song EP you have dubstep, electro, ballads, pop and rock. Not only that but you get the best standard from each of these genres, and that is why Labrinth is officially a musical genius. Have at him, America!
::: covering reviews of the latest music releases on RenownedForSound.com