Is it just me or is Guy Sebastian pretty much unshakable lately with his recent string of bulletproof singles?
‘Battle Scars’ is the Aussie pop prince’s newest offering and it’s incidentally also his first dabble in the rap/R&B structure that has already turned glitter into gold for so many Top 40 hitmakers.
However, unlike the majority of these rent-a-rapper verses, Lupe Fiasco‘s contribution here actually feels valid and in equal weighting to Guy‘s sung vocals. I don’t know, y’guys – it just felt like they spent a minute on this and it’s not just another vanity project.
‘Battle Scars’ is a massive bruised ballad with a titan hook that just beats you down with no mercy. The ominous piano-driven ballad, punctuated with crisp beats resembles something Ryan Tedder would pitch to A-list American chart toppers.
Sonically, this third offering from Guy‘s forthcoming Armageddon album flaunts a notably sound from the last two singles: the ARIA Top 10 smashes ‘Gold’ and ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’.
I haven’t consciously explored his intent here but it does sound like with each of these three tracks, Guy is foreshadowing an album of refined modern pop with diverse soul/R&B fusions – so basically a collision of 2009’s Like It Like That with 2006’s Closer To The Sun? Because ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’, ‘Gold’ and ‘Battle Scars’ all sound like direct descendants of these two projects.
You don’t get to nine years of successful hit albums and this point where you’re respected for the kind of pop you produce to not know what works for you.
Side bar: you gotta keep in mind that homegrown pop is still a somewhat trivialised genre to most Australians, relegating it as disposable fodder consumed by teen viewers of X Factor and The Voice. Therefore, the handful of artists who escape the masses’ ennui – such as Guy, Delta Goodrem, Missy Higgins and The Veronicas - are rare.
This next step in Guy‘s career deserves to be an international affair and let’s hope with top-notch singles like ‘Battle Scars’, he can begin to break new territories.
Watch the music video for ‘Battle Scars':
Since ‘Battle Scars’ dropped on digital shelves last Friday, it has climbed to #1 on our Aussie iTunes chart. Cue celebratory shimmies – from who exactly, I’m not sure. Guy Sebastian will return to our small screens as a judge on X Factor Australia next Monday 20 August, 7.30pm on Channel 7.