May 12, 2013

Make It Up (Sam Tsui) - Album Review

Details: "Make It Up" by Sam Tsui (prod. Kurt Hugo Schneider)
Released: May 11th 2013

Who Is This Guy?
Sam Tsui is a part of this next generation of pop-stars born and breaded on the internet. Together with his childhood-friend, Kurt Hugo Schneider, they have been making music videos on YouTube for over four years, and together they've really worked their way into the music industry from the bottom and up. Sam was the cute boy with the incredible voice and Kurt was the music-magician that breathed life into the music and knew how to actually piece all the different pieces together. I've already written a post about Kurt and his work, so I strongly suggest you head over here to read more about the man behind the music! 

Last year they announced that a full-length debut album was already under production, and this time around it contained all original music as opposed to the covers they usually do. Instead of signing with a record label they wanted to make this all by themselves, and to do that they certenly needed their fans' help. Several years of brilliant content had made both their YouTube channels very popular, and with Kurt's 2,3 million subscribers (KurtHugoSchneider) and Sam's 500 000 (TheSamTsui) they actually got their own fans to finance this album through a Kickstarter-project. They even got twice the money they needed!

Album Review
The album itself consists of fourteen songs, and surprisingly they are actually not as similar to each other as I feared! Since I am one of the contributors to their Kickstarter-project I actually got an early digital download of the album over a week ago, so I have been able to listen to it quite a couple of times... And this is actually one of those albums that grows on me and gets better and better each time. 

Ever since hearing his covers of songs like "Titanium", "Just A Dream" and "Don't You Worry Child" I knew he really could sing... But when I played this album loud in my headphones, without being "distracted" by some beautiful music video, his voice was so perfect it took my breath away! 

The greatest thing about this album though, except from his incredible voice, was the lyrics. I've only seen him do covers, so I was not fully prepared for the heart and emotion he had put down on the paper. Pop is not usually my genre since a lot of it sounds exactly the same and most of the lyrics are pretty shallow. Even though Sam's songs too are mostly about love I could actually feel the emotion... It was very easy to tell that he had put his heart and soul into this and was writing based on his own experiences. 

The weakest songs, according to me, were Wherever You Are and Bring Me The Night. The funny thing is that they were the only ones that lacked that emotion I mentioned. Wherever You Are is probably a great party-hit but Bring Me The Night played too much on clich├ęs. They were ok, but also the reason this album does not get a topp rating from me.

However, the album was fantastic all in all! Let me show you why...

Make It Up
The leading single from this album is actually so perfect for me and the situation in my life right now that it's ridiculous! Uplifting, enjoyable and with great lyrics I know means a lot to him personally. And accompanied by a fantastic music video, this is a guaranteed hit!

Me Without You
Such a gripping song... I know firsthand how a single person can change your life for the better. 

Worth It
A very honest song that should be able to touch anyone's heart. Arguably the best song of the entire album. So raw and filled with emotion. He manages not to just sing the song, but actually preform it.

Next Best Thing
This is a subjective review, so I feel fully justified saying that this song touched me so hard I actually broke down in tears. A lot of people need to hear this message, even if they don't want to, because being a person's second choice is not a good place to stay. Way too many are fine with being under-appreciated and settle for less than they deserve...