Conan Gray is a model modern musician: honest, versatile and unafraid to embrace pop music. Debut album ‘Kid Krow’ is a collection of catchy choruses, big harmonies and lyrics straight out of a high school drama. A true slasher, the YouTuber / singer-songwriter effortlessly jumps between styles, from chart-ready tracks like ‘Wish You Were Sober’, ‘Maniac’ and ‘Checkmate’ that channel pop powerhouses Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Lauv to cute interludes like ‘(Online-Love)’, indie rock on ‘Fight or Flight’ and folk balladry on ‘Heather’.
This might be his first album but he already has plenty of fans, having amassed nearly 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube, so releasing an album that has something for everyone is only natural. However, the moments of real quality on ‘Kid Krow’ come when Conan the star-to-be takes a backseat and Conan the human takes over. It’s most evident on closer ‘The Story’, an optimistic tale of past loves that rues evil parents and missed opportunities and has him exclaiming: “I’m afraid that’s just the way the world works but I think that it could work for you and me.” This side to Conan, when his music is drawn from raw emotion and not a business plan, makes it clear why he’s already well on his way to being a 2020 icon.
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