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Sean Nicholas Savage - Bermuda Waterfall

It’s both the timeless melodies and the mysterious persona he creates that constantly demand repeat plays.

It begins with ‘Boogie Nights’ - a title that couldn’t get any more Sean Nicholas Savage if it tried. Since emerging in 2008, the 27-year-old Canadian has produced serene, richly refined pop music that meanders from the sickly sweet to the succulently smooth. No matter which entry point is taken into his now extensive discography, the themes tend to remain the same, with romance, relationships and true love always being approached by Savage in an over-the-top, Hollywood-esque way. He never falls by the wayside, though - gifted with an ear for timeless pop music, Savage often combines jazz, lounge, smooth R&B and power ballads in his own oddball way, and it’s both the timeless melodies and the mysterious persona he creates that constantly demand repeat plays.

Last year’s fantastic ‘Other Life’ saw Savage not pushing his sound forward, but stripping it back and refining its core elements instead. Tracks like ‘She Looks Like You’, ‘More Than I Love Myself’ and ‘You Changed Me’ found his vocal range being pushed to the max; his voice carrying the majority of the tracks with massive falsettos. ‘Other Life’ wasn’t Savage’s strongest record instrumentally, though, and it seems like he’s realised this, opting to polish and broaden his sound on his latest effort ‘Bermuda Waterfall’. The pianos sound more polished and refined, the percussion sounds intricate and poised, and the rare sound of a guitar is warm and embracing (see ‘Hands Down’) rather than fuzzy and cold.

Though this eleventh effort isn’t a huge departure from Savage’s now signature sound, the seductiveness is turned up a notch, the loveable lo-fi scratchiness just about creeps through again and the cheesiness is now reeking through the rafters.

Sure, at times it sounds like he’s taking the piss - you can’t help but listen to the slinkiness of ‘Hangin On’ and not be reminded of Austin Powers’ loveshack - but at other times he sounds like the most tender he’s ever been (‘Please Set Me Free’ sure does pull the heartstrings). While Savage remains the same bleary-eyed and soft-hearted crooner he always has been, ‘Bermuda Waterfall’ feels far more widescreen than anything he’s done before. If ‘Other Life’ was his offbeat indie romance flick, ‘Bermuda Waterfall’ is his first major and elegant blockbuster, and things can only get bigger - and jazzier - for Savage from here on out.

Tags: Sean Nicholas Savage, Reviews, Album Reviews

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