As a reviewer, I tend to spend a lot of time looking back at the history of music to find themes and references, styles and genres to use to explain whatever music is currently under my pen. That’s fine when you have a distinct thread to tug on, a legitimate line of enquiry and if it is clear to whom or when an artist is tipping his hat. But artists such as Louis Samson are tricker customers, being more interested moving things forward rather than deferring to what has gone before. And if you are writing the next musical chapter, there aren’t yet any references for lazy journalists like myself to hang our review on. Progress, it’s a tricky business…for those trying to capture it in words at least.
It’s smooth and soulful, wanders late-night pop territory
Plans is the obvious place to start, being the lead single from the EP. It’s smooth and soulful, wanders late-night pop territory at its core and is built of understated beats, space and well-crafted swathes of dynamic anticipation. And to be honest, most of those elements are a good summation of the other songs found with it.
Careless is a blend of sumptuous vocal harmonies and trippy beats, Forever plays with some Caribbean rhythms and jaunty groove and What If, for me, the most interesting track on here, closes proceedings in a wash of haze, dreamscapes, and distant, disembodied vocals, which is all rather lovely.
The problem is that whilst the e.p. has some brilliant moments, ones that use clever dynamics, interesting composition and great production, for my money it doesn’t have brilliant songs. It has good songs, and that is usually good enough but there is little here to make the e.p. stand out from the swath of current pop and nu-soul artists also looking to mix infectiousness with understatement to create the new sonic face of alternative pop. It’s a problem of his own making really because anyone who can conjure up brilliant moments should be able to deliver brilliant songs too.
In short, good as this is, I know he can do better, but that’s fine, I’m happy to wait.