Sunday, 12 June 2011

Simon Curtis - 'R∆' |Review

The chances are if you use the internet often you'll have heard of Simon Curtis. For any of my wasps still using dial-up [seriously!!!] Simon is an American actor and singer-songwriter who released his debut record, 8-bit heart last year to much acclaim. Music blogs overheated as the buzz for 8-bit [made available as a free download] spread across the internet, an army of fans was built [affectionately calling themselves 'Robot's'], and an image was thrust upon our eyes courtesy of celebrity photographer and friend of Simon's, Tyler Shields. The record went on to shift 150,000 copies within the first two week's of release, major influencing sites like Just Jared and Arjan Writes got invested, Billboard Magazine featured the boy robot within their pages, oh and Simon Curtis was unsigned at the time - so not a bad debut for the Tulsa native all n'all. Simon wasn't stupid, he saw the importance of social networking and offering his music on a plate to all for free in the hope of building a fanbase [army even].

But can Simon repeat the success of 8-bit a year later with new record R∆ and build on the numbers that have been downloaded of his debut? After all, his army will need to put their money where their metal mouths are and pony up on iTunes if they want this record...

The answer in short is yes. Simon has delivered an aggressive follow-up to 8-bit which does a lot of things. It's primary function - to make 8-bit sound a little bit shit. Curtis is still an unsigned artist after all [would you believe???] but the production on this record is what deserves super kudos! Like Bloodshy & Avant kudos wasps - it really does sound that polished!!! And had I been told that the Miike Snow boys had been drafted in to do this I wouldn't have batted an eyelid. The record screams money.

If I had to describe the overall sound of R∆; a sick mash-up of 'N Sync [on poppers] and Britney [a la her 'Blackout' years]. Or on another day I might describe R∆ as a progressive pop record that's not afraid to throw some 'fucks' around in-between dubstep breakdowns and frenetic falsetto sprints. Yeah I'll describe it as that.

Have a listen to Flesh

Previously with 8-bit Simon Curtis delivered a number of catchy songs, but with R∆ he delivers an anthem of a record. The lyrics are filthy. The delivery on point.

It is somewhat wonderful that he avoids some kind of boy-robot-meltdown over the course of the fourteen tracks on R∆ [not that I'd grudge him] what with all the emotion he throws into each number. Often finding himself on the edge of falling into the sound he has created. Simon merely takes a step back, oils his parts [ahem] and sprints off in another direction.

He does this so competently infact that I coudn't help but be reminded of a young Britney Spears and how she used to sing with all the unapologetic bite that marks R∆ and made her name before she fell into the machine.

Sad. But really quite the compliment if you think about it.

Top Hive Songs: Enemy, Flesh, D.T.M, Laser Guns Up, Superhero

4/5 Freja Beha Erichsen’s

R∆ is available to download from iTunes now
Images by Tyler Shields


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