Everyone that’s a music buff perks up when they hear “free,” especially when these days, record labels overcharge for music that you could make at home. The only problem is that free music generally begs the question, “Well, why is it free?” Why give it away free? What’s the catch?
iTunes feels that a free single of the week is enough free music to hook you and to get you hyped about what’s next. Graffiti6 was the free single a couple weeks ago and surprisingly, it was good music. There’s quality in the track with a soulful voice, upbeat tempo, and funky bass line.
Jamie Scott, the mastermind behind Graffiti6, is impressive in not only his ability to record catchy beats and songs, but to sing over them with pipes like Adele and Bruno Mars. Don’t be alarmed by the initial description either. He does not sing songs by the window reminiscing of past love, nor does he sing of rain and heartbreak despite his “lover boy” image.
Scott is a talented young star on the verge of fame, but the cool thing is he hasn’t been discovered yet. These songs seem ready-made for the radio. Scott channels so many influences throughout his debut album Colours. From punk to soul, funk to orchestral, alternative to jazzy, Graffiti6 is a delight for the ears.
It’s hard to find a song to dislike due to Jamie Scott’s wondrous ability to write simple-minded pop songs. Songs like “Stop Mary,” “Free” and “Over You” scream K92 material, while “Calm the Storm,” “Annie, You Save Me,” “Stone in my Heart” and “Stare into the Sun” groove and roll like old-school rock and funk. The album is too eclectic for its own good; it almost makes you wonder how Scott got a record deal for writing radio-friendly hits on half the album and soulful beauties on the other half.
The eclecticism on the album is of course its strength though. Most other pop albums suffer because of their lack of originality and their abundance of repetition. Adele suffers from this. So does Bruno Mars, and don’t get me started on Ke$ha and “Glee.” If this is what pop will sound like over the next few years, have at it Jamie Scott. Let him transform the movement because too many people recognize Ke$ha as music, while Scott lays back and soaks what little sun is left in obscurity.
Scott is smart, though, because the lyrics in his songs aren’t complicated either.
They don’t reach for new heights or are too weird (see: metal and progressive rock), yet they deviate from the norm. Maybe it’s just in Scott’s voice and his convincing tonality.
The song titles are not inventive, but don’t let that fool you. Each song is a gem to be savored and pulled apart. “Annie, You Save Me” and “Stone in my Heart” are definitely favorites on the album. Scott’s filtered voice is haunting, with strings taking care of the melody and a rolling bass line and drum kit flush out “Annie…,” while “Stone in my Heart” sounds like a club hit and Phoenix had a baby, with acapella mixed in.
Thus you meet the paradox of good music: do you share it with friends or do you keep it to yourself? This music has the power to influence the radio and that’s the worst part about it. Graffiti6 will be found someday, overplayed, but Jamie Scott will feel success, and real music will earn a small victory that day. Jamie Scott’s talent is brimming with flavor and soul; it’s just a matter before everyone drinks his Kool-Aid.