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Christian Heath – One

The five song EP from South African pop artist Christian Heath is an impressive emphatic statement of purpose from an obviously talented performer and easily rates among my favorite pop releases so far in 2018. Heath has already experienced a measure of commercial success with his previous band, but the confines of working within a traditional, “democratic” band setting proved restrictive to the creative vision he felt called to pursue for himself. I think his EP One clearly reflects this reality; Heath emerges from this recording as a top shelf pop artist in the making, yes, but as well one with a vision for music far outstripping the lowest common denominator pursuit so often dominating the work of many modern performers. One, despite its diversity, holds together thanks to uniformity of production and a consistent songwriting point of view holding your interest through a handful of variations.

 

“I’m Yours” is full of stylized guitars, a sleek production sound, and strong drumming giving it an ever more propulsive thrust from the first. This song probably features the EP’s best chorus and that’s saying something as, time after time, Heath wows us with his talent for exploiting the potential of that key pop songwriting element. The transitions are excellent, as well, and set the stage for Heath to hit those aforementioned peaks in the performance. His title song for the EP is a wild turn towards something more musically aggressive, less obviously traditional, and features the guest talents of Infidelx enhancing the performance. “One (A World Song)” fuses pop and hard electronica with a lot of impact and I found myself riveted by the song with a single listen. The use of massed or choir backing vocals underlines how, despite the different musical surroundings, Heath’s commitment to a strong vocal presentation never wavers.

 

Evidence of his comfort on a stairway of surprise becomes even more apparent with his shift from the hard electronica of the title song into the lilting, sunlit filled Latin influences in “Tonight”. Featuring another guest star with Nixi, Heath remains the song’s center throughout and delivers an enjoyable, confident performance. It’s mightily impressive to hear how he’s comfortable with seemingly any style. He shows another musical face with the gorgeous balladry at the heart of “Paradise”, the EP’s second to last tune, and one of its most remarkable elements is how Heath resists even a hint of self-indulgence or cookie cutter bathos to get this tune over with listeners. The final cut on One, “Magic”, is an intensely physical and memorable pop tune, mixing electronic instrumentation with other sounds to great effect, and Heath steps up with his most suggestive, never lascivious, vocal performance yet.

 

This is one hell of a way to make an entrance. Christian Heath emerges on the indie pop scene fully formed and we can be rest assured he won’t be confined to this niche for long. This is a vocalist and interpreter with the chops and connection to his material strong enough to carry him into the upper reaches of musical stardom. Get on board with this now because it’s going places fast.

 

William Elgin

The five song EP from South African pop artist Christian Heath is an impressive emphatic statement of purpose from an obviously talented performer and easily rates among my favorite pop releases so far in 2018. Heath has already experienced a measure of commercial success with his previous band, but the confines of working within a traditional, “democratic” band setting proved restrictive to the creative vision he felt called to pursue for himself. I think his EP One clearly reflects this reality; Heath emerges from this recording as a top shelf pop artist in the making, yes, but as well one with a vision for music far outstripping the lowest common denominator pursuit so often dominating the work of many modern performers. One, despite its diversity, holds together thanks to uniformity of production and a consistent songwriting point of view holding your interest through a handful of variations.

 

“I’m Yours” is full of stylized guitars, a sleek production sound, and strong drumming giving it an ever more propulsive thrust from the first. This song probably features the EP’s best chorus and that’s saying something as, time after time, Heath wows us with his talent for exploiting the potential of that key pop songwriting element. The transitions are excellent, as well, and set the stage for Heath to hit those aforementioned peaks in the performance. His title song for the EP is a wild turn towards something more musically aggressive, less obviously traditional, and features the guest talents of Infidelx enhancing the performance. “One (A World Song)” fuses pop and hard electronica with a lot of impact and I found myself riveted by the song with a single listen. The use of massed or choir backing vocals underlines how, despite the different musical surroundings, Heath’s commitment to a strong vocal presentation never wavers.

 

Evidence of his comfort on a stairway of surprise becomes even more apparent with his shift from the hard electronica of the title song into the lilting, sunlit filled Latin influences in “Tonight”. Featuring another guest star with Nixi, Heath remains the song’s center throughout and delivers an enjoyable, confident performance. It’s mightily impressive to hear how he’s comfortable with seemingly any style. He shows another musical face with the gorgeous balladry at the heart of “Paradise”, the EP’s second to last tune, and one of its most remarkable elements is how Heath resists even a hint of self-indulgence or cookie cutter bathos to get this tune over with listeners. The final cut on One, “Magic”, is an intensely physical and memorable pop tune, mixing electronic instrumentation with other sounds to great effect, and Heath steps up with his most suggestive, never lascivious, vocal performance yet.

 

This is one hell of a way to make an entrance. Christian Heath emerges on the indie pop scene fully formed and we can be rest assured he won’t be confined to this niche for long. This is a vocalist and interpreter with the chops and connection to his material strong enough to carry him into the upper reaches of musical stardom. Get on board with this now because it’s going places fast.

 

William Elgin

 

About Stephen Vicino

Stephen Vicino is the founder of MusicExistence.com. He created this site to give talented musicians a voice and a way to be discovered.

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