‘Madness’ is certainly an interesting title to christen this period of Guy Sebastian’s career.
In the last year he’s released some very polarising singles. ‘Like a Drum’ was a massive chart hit but was criticised for sounding too much like Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’.
Meanwhile, current single ‘Mama Ain’t Proud’ is easily his most urban work yet, and seems to be avoiding radio play like nobody’s business.
Thankfully ‘Madness’ is far better than its singles would seem to indicate.
‘Elephant’ and ‘Light & Shade’ both show off Guy’s easy affinity with soul and R&B. ‘Elephant’, in particular, has dramatic strings that work well with the track’s summery R&B mood.
Second single ‘Come Home With Me’ was a bit of a misfire, with its lazy lyrics and Avicii-esque backing track.
‘Animal In Me’ is a far better song, and is the closest we get to Guy’s career best ‘Like It Like That’ period.
Lupe Fiasco makes a welcome appearance on the catchy ‘Linger’, which reminds us of some of Justin Timberlake’s better moments.
Another ‘mad’ moment occurs on the strings and acoustic guitar duet ‘Imagine The Sunrise’, which is really quite something. Lyrically it’s surprisingly dark, with lyrics such as ‘These little tubes can’t keep you alive, only our love can do that’. It’s a brave and uplifting ballad, perhaps alluding to the premature birth of one of his sons.
For traditional Guy Sebastian fans, ‘Lightning’ is a Latin-influenced stormer with a very ‘Battle Scars’-esque chorus. It’s quite surprising that Guy couldn’t find a better-known female to sing alongside him, but Fatai is more than up for the challenge.
We also quite like the almost-country vibe of ‘Alive’ and the title track with all of its Ryan Tedder-ness.
All in all, ‘Madness’ is actually quite a varied and strong affair. It changes genres frequently and the singles haven’t done Guy any favours, but isn’t that the very definition of ‘Madness’?
Download : Linger (ftg. Lupe Fiasco), Imagine The Sunrise, Animal In Me.