Conor Maynard, Contrast | Album Review
Up-and-coming British pop artist Conor Maynard puts the Justin Bieber comparisons to rest on his enjoyable, suggestive debut album, ‘Contrast.’
On January 8, 2013, 20-year old British pop singer Conor Maynard saw the U.S. release of his debut Contrast. Maynard takes a more suggestive route than some of his contemporaries, such as Justin Bieber or One Direction. Maynard emulates Justin Timberlake on Contrast. Suggestive to say the least, the British pop singer embraces being young and desiring some “1-on-1 fun.”
On “Animal,” Maynard tells his girl, “Girl tear me apart, like an animal.” Sexual tension is no fun, particularly for 20-year olds apparently. “Turn Around” featuring Ne-Yo, finds the young-un keeping it G-rated. While suggest Conor is more fun, “Turn Around” is a fun, danceable cut at least.
“Vegas Girl” has some bad-boy vibes, upping the ante. On the pre-chorus, Maynard makes references to multiple song:
“I’ll knock you down like you’re Keri / Forget your name like Rihanna / You can Run the World, Queen B / Be Unthinkable, Alicia / We can go so far if she let go /and I ain’t gonna leave without her.”
On the addictive chorus, he claims “This is for the girl that get down low / The whole club wanna see you go.” Not being able to resist a girl can be a problem if it’s the wrong girl. On “Can’t Say No,” that’s a risk Maynard is willing to take.
“Girls, girls, girls, I just can’t say no / Never see them coming I just watch them go /… Take control, making me sweat girl run that show.”
Whoever these girls are have Conor all hot and bothered.
On “Lift Off,” featuring Pharrell Williams, the little Casanova adds more oomph with some tasteful falsetto. It’s hard to determine if “Mary Go Round” is incredibly clumsy or tries too hard to be suggestive. The chorus is something to say the least:
“Mary, Mary go around / why you playing me, turn me upside / Mary let me hit the ground / Get me off of here / While you go round and round and round.”
Add some more odd, yet suggestive lyrics like “Go play with someone else, I’m getting off this ride now,” and it’s clear what Maynard is getting at.
“Take Off” definitely finds Conor in a state of horniness. On the pre-chorus, he sings:
“Break it down now, shake the ground now / wanna hear you scream loud with the countdown.”
On the chorus, he’s “Going in so hard that the world can’t take us, can’t take us, can’t take us.”
Among the corniest of the suggestiveness arrives on the second verse:
“All the ladies look like a damn poster / Grab your girlfriend, pull her closer/ Make her ride, ride it, Roller coaster.”
Later, he can’t resist a reference to the mile-high club. “Better Than You” brings along Rita Ora. Not a favorite, this could’ve been executed better.
On “Another One,” Maynard takes risks here. “She had me going damn oh la la / said she wanna peel my banana na na,” he boasts at one point. He even amplifies his swag more, referencing the club.
“Guys coming out the club empty handed / no girl cursing like goddammit.”
For good measure, he adds some French, and discusses getting undressed. Yep, hormones running rampant.
“Pictures” is definitely not for kids, finding Maynard referencing magazines.
“I stack these magazines in the corner (after I’m done with them) / And I still got the same hopes that I started with (that you’d be in one of them).”
Interesting. “Glass Girl” is produced once more by Pharrell, who blends pop, soul, and dubstep. As for Maynard, he “Can’t hide it in your smile or hide it in your arms / Sorry to tell you Ms. Glass girl.” “Just in Case” concludes Contrast tamely – that’s kind of boring.
With Contrast, any Justin Bieber comparisons made can die. Bieber spends his time talking about Buzz Lightyear and Fondue. As for cool cat Conor Maynard, he’s looking at magazines, talking about girls getting low, and speaking in French. In all seriousness, Contrast is an enjoyable debut album. Maynard is best when he’s suggestive.
Gems: “Vegas Girl,” “Can’t Say No,” “Another One,” “Pictures” & “Glass Girl”