For over a decade now, Australian pop singer/songwriter Guy Sebastian has been topping the charts with his smash hit singles and beloved studio albums, he still remains the highest selling artist to have competed on Australian Idol during its run; two years ago we couldn’t flick through the channels on mainstream radio without hearing the addictive Don’t Worry Be Happy and the multi-platinum selling single Battle Scars, but sooner rather than later we are being treated to some new material from our idol. The release of Guy’s eighth studio album Madness is in our midst, its lead single Like A Drum became yet another multi-platinum selling single for him and pumped fans up for the release, an Australian tour in support of Madness has already been announced for February 2015.
The title track Madness questions whether it is ‘mad’ to fight anyway you possibly can for the madness he calls love, the track is as atmospheric as it is exciting and showcases Sebastian’s impressive vocal range. Third and latest single Mama Ain’t Proud is a collaboration with American rapper 2 Chainz, the guitar we hear for a split second at the beginning was very classic rock, it gives way to a beat savvy RnB track sure to be a hit among the masses; next up is Australian radio’s most played track of December 2013, lead single Like A Drum can not be denied a notable mention, there is a reasoning for its popularity and it’s because it’s yet another catchy pop/dance single released by the singer. Sebastian’s excellent use of ‘elephant’ as a metaphor in the dramatised Elephant worked for him, in case you don’t understand it’s the case where two people can’t overlook a big deal of situation and decide to avoid the issue, the use of strings and Guy’s emotive vocals delivering every lyrics nails the concept; Alive is given life by the refreshing strums of acoustic guitar and a subtle yet driving beat. The soul in Guy’s voice introduces Light and Shade with some wicked notes masterfully delivered, rapper Sage the Gemini’s contribution keeps the vibe flowing, yet another singer/rapper collaboration that works well for Sebastian.
Continuing the trend, Lupe Fiasco returns as a guest on Linger, it differs from their collaboration on Battle Scars and it’s a smooth dose of RnB and soul that leaves you nodding with admiration. One of Us has an ambience with depth, its oomph still allows focus on the emotive lyrics and Guy’s vocal delivery; Imagine The Sunrise has a warm melody, Guy gets in touch with some folk influence which makes the track a delight. Guy teams up with The Voice Australia 2012 semi-finalist Fatai for the pop/RnB mixed Lightning, the Melbournian songbird adds an intriguing element to the track’s dynamic, her lower vocal tones compliment Guy’s impressive range; second single Come Home With Me is yet another radio friendly hit, its catchiness touched the hearts of his nation and was certified gold, it has a fast paced verse until the instruments give way for a smoother chorus with a sugar coated hook to follow. Animal In Me is the shortest track included on the album, its tempo and vibe is one of the record’s most captivating with the guaranteed crash hot vocal decency; last but not least is the piano led The Pause, which makes for a great pop ballad with a subtle beat.
Guy Sebastian’s Madness is everything but, the singer/songwriter knows what works for him musically and he’s running with it without sounding dated; he has a solid fan base behind him as well, another reason why he has become as successful as he is now. The album makes for a decent dose of pop, and unlike many other mainstream marketed music it demonstrates diversity in dynamic and content; Sebastian is fully capable of vocally delivering the suitable emotion intended for the lyrics, a necessary talent to complete the essence of each track’s concept, thus accompanying the commendable production and instrumental work. Guy Sebastian remains one of Australia’s most beloved talents to emerge over the last decade, and with an album like Madness that’s not about to change.