Contrast (Conor Maynard album)

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Contrast
Studio album by Conor Maynard
Released 30 July 2012
Recorded 2011–2012
at Ealing Music Studio[1]
in West London, England
Genre Pop
Length 41:25
Label Parlophone
Producer Pharrell Williams, Stargate, Benny Blanco, The Invisible Men, Midi Mafia, Crada, Lucas Secon, Quiz & Larossi, Eagle Eye, The Arcade, Parker & James, DetoNate, Rami Afuni
Conor Maynard chronology
Contrast
(2012)
-
Singles from Contrast
  1. "Can't Say No"
    Released: 2 March 2012
  2. "Vegas Girl"
    Released: 20 July 2012
  3. "Turn Around"
    Released: 8 October 2012
  4. "Animal"
    Released: 21 January 2013

Contrast is the debut studio album by English pop singer Conor Maynard. It was released on 30 July 2012 in the United Kingdom through Parlophone and across Europe between August and October. Contrast mainly includes production from The Invisible Men, who produced seven of the fourteen songs available on the album, along with production from Pharrell Williams, Stargate, Benny Blanco, Midi Mafia, Crada, Lucas Secon, Quiz & Larossi, and Eagle Eye, among others, and features guest appearances from American recording artists Ne-Yo and Pharrell Williams, as well as British record artist Rita Ora.

Contrast was recorded between 2011 and 2012 and its album's music consists of synthpop, dance-pop and pop rock. The album's lead single "Can't Say No" entered the UK Singles Chart at number 2. The second single "Vegas Girl" was released the same day as Contrast, entering at number 4. Another two singles were released after the album release. The album peaked at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart, and charted in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and USA.

Background[edit]

On 20 May 2006, Maynard signed up to online video-sharing website YouTube and uploaded his very first video of him singing "Breathe" by fellow British musician Lee Carr.[2] Throughout 2009–present, Maynard uploaded cover versions of songs with rapper and close friend, Anthony "Anth" Melo who resides in Virginia. Together they have covered a variety of songs, including: Chris Brown ("Crawl"), Taio Cruz ("Dynamite"), Rihanna ("Only Girl (In the World)"). Maynard was brought to label attention when American singer/songwriter Ne-Yo watched a cover version of his track "Beautiful Monster" – who contacted the musician soon afterwards, and Ne-Yo became Maynard's mentor.[3]

In November 2011, Maynard received a nomination for MTV's Brand New for 2012 award, competing alongside Delilah, Michael Kiwanuka, Lana Del Rey and Lianne La Havas.[4] It was announced on 31 January 2012 that Maynard had been crowned winner of the award, having received approximately 48% of the public vote.[5] February 2012 saw the reveal that Maynard had been signed to label EMI subsidiary, Parlophone in late 2011 and that work would begin in the coming months on his debut studio album, Contrast.[6] Maynard released the music video for his debut single "Can't Say No" on 1 March 2012,[7] which by September 2012 had already surpassed fourteen million views. The single was met with positive reviews, with Lewis Corner (of Digital Spy) describing it as "playful, fun and immediately leaves you wanting another go",[8] whilst others compared Maynard to Canadian singer Justin Bieber; both vocally and career-wise. However Conor disputes this claim, saying "I'm not like Justin Bieber." but - while insisting his music has a more mature R&B flavour to it than Bieber's[9] - recognises that they both gained popularity from being young and from being found through YouTube.[10]

Singles[edit]

"Can't Say No" was released on 2 March 2012 as the first single from the album. It was produced by The Invisible Men and The Arcade, and written by The Invisible Men, Sophie Stern, Jon Mills, Joe Dyer, Kurtis McKenzie and Maynard. "Vegas Girl" was released on 20 July 2012 as the second single from the album. "Turn Around" was confirmed as the third single to be released from the album. The music video premiered on September 10, 2012 and was released on 8 October 2012.[11]

"Animal" was confirmed to be the fourth single from the album. The music video was released on 10 December 2012 and will be released to radio on 21 January 2013. The song was released as a remix with UK rapper Wiley.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 67/100[12]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[13]
BBC Music (Positive)[14]
Contact Music (Positive)[15]
DigitalSpy 3/5 stars[16]
Drowned in Sound 7/10[17]
London Evening Standard (Positive)[18]
NME 7/10[19]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[20]
The Guardian (Positive)[21]
The Independent 3/5 stars[22]
The Scotsman (Positive)[23]

The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. DigitalSpy criticized his lyrics for being "mismatch with his boy-next-door persona", ultimately stating the songs feel "like a by-product of his mentors rather than an expression of his teenage self." DigitalSpy also commented that the album's sound is more like Justin Timberlake as opposed to Justin Bieber, a common comparison for Maynard, specifically referring to the tracks "Can't Say No" and "Animal".

The Guardian, however, noted that the "British Justin Bieber" label fits Maynard as the album "follows the Bieber template of fitting a breathy teenage voice to cleancut urban pop." Nick Levine of BBC Music felt the album has "class" and complimented it for being a "credible collection of electronic RnB tracks." Levine also states Justin Timberlake's influence on Maynard, specifically referring to the song "Glass Girl" as being an "attempt to rewrite JT's Cry Me a River for the dubstep generation."

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Animal"   Conor Maynard, The Invisible Men, Sophie Stern, Kurtis McKenzie, Joey Dyer, Jon Mills The Invisible Men, The Arcade 3:16
2. "Turn Around" (featuring Ne-Yo) Shaffer Smith, Benjamin Levin, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen Stargate, Benny Blanco, Plan J 3:52
3. "Vegas Girl"   Conor Maynard, The Invisible Men, Scott Thomas, Peter Ighile, Kyle Abrahams, Dion Wardle The Invisible Men, Parker & James 2:49
4. "Can't Say No"   Conor Maynard, The Invisible Men, Sophie Stern, Kurtis McKenzie, Joey Dyer, Jon Mills The Invisible Men 3:14
5. "Lift Off" (featuring Pharrell) Conor Maynard, Pharrell Williams Pharrell Williams 2:59
6. "Mary Go Round"   Conor Maynard, The Invisible Men, Sophie Stern, Nathaniel Ledwidge The Invisible Men, DetoNate 3:09
7. "Take Off"   Conor Maynard, The Invisible Men, Sophie Stern, Kurtis McKenzie, Joey Dyer, Jon Mills The Invisible Men, The Arcade 3:36
8. "Better than You" (featuring Rita Ora) Conor Maynard, Rita Ora, The Invisible Men, Kurtis McKenzie, Joey Dyer, Jon Mills, Tony Nilsson, John Buchanan The Invisible Men, The Arcade 3:13
9. "Another One"   Conor Maynard, Lucas Secon, Daniel Craddock, Josef Larossi, Andreas Romdhane Quiz & Larossi, Lucas Secon 3:12
10. "Pictures"   Kevin Risto, Waynne Nugent, Christopher Breaux Midi Mafia 4:09
11. "Glass Girl"   Conor Maynard, Pharrell Williams Pharrell Williams 4:31
12. "Just in Case"   Conor Maynard, Ashton Foster, Ray Djan, Celetia Martin Eagle Eye 3:17
Total length:
41:25

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[26] 48
Austrian Albums Chart[27] 72
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[28] 34
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[29] 176
Danish Albums Chart[30] 37
Dutch Albums Chart[31] 73
German Albums Chart[32] 69
Irish Albums Chart[33] 10
Italian Albums Chart[34] 15
Japanese Albums Chart[35] 130
New Zealand Albums Chart[36] 27
Scottish Albums Chart[37] 3
Swiss Albums Chart[38] 40
UK Albums Chart[39] 1
US Billboard 200[40] 34

Chart progression and succession[edit]

Preceded by
ill Manors by Plan B
UK Albums Chart number-one album
5 August 2012
(one week)
Succeeded by
Talk That Talk by Rihanna

Release history[edit]

Country Release date Format Label
Germany[41] July 27, 2012 CD, Digital download EMI
Poland[42] July 30, 2012
United Kingdom[43][44] Parlophone
Philippines[45] August 3, 2012 PolyEast (EMI)
Italy[46] September 18, 2012 Capitol
Australia[47] September 21, 2012 EMI
Brazil[48] October 10, 2012
Japan[49] October 24, 2012 EMI/SoundTown
United States[50] January 8, 2013 Capitol

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ealing Music Studo: About". 
  2. ^ "YouTube User: skillzaisherebooya". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  3. ^ "The Student Magazine Interview Conor Maynard". The Student Magazine. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  4. ^ "Lana Del Rey and Delilah makes MTV's Brand New for 2012 list". Digital Spy. 2011-12-02. 
  5. ^ "Connor Maynard voted 'Brand New' for 2012". MTV. 2012-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Brighton artist Conor Maynard could be UK answer to Justin Bieber". London: The Sun. 2012-02-01. 
  7. ^ "Conor Maynard – 'Can't Say No' – Music Video". YouTube. 2012-03-01. 
  8. ^ "Conor Maynard – 'Can't Say No' – Single Review". Digital Spy. 2012-03-03. 
  9. ^ Conor Maynard interview by Pete Lewis 'Blues & Soul' January 2012
  10. ^ "Conor Maynard, "I'm not like Justin Bieber"". Digital Spy. 2012-03-12. 
  11. ^ Conor Maynard, Ne-Yo unveil 'Turn Around' music video - Music News - Digital Spy
  12. ^ Contrast Reviews - Metacritic
  13. ^ "Conor Maynard: 'Contrast' - Album review". AllMusic. 
  14. ^ "Review of Conor Maynard - Contrast". BBC Music. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  15. ^ Avron, Hayley. "Conor Maynard - Contrast Album Review". contactmusic.com. 
  16. ^ "Conor Maynard: 'Contrast' - Album review". DigitalSpy. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  17. ^ Leedham,Robert. "Review of Conor Maynard - Contrast". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  18. ^ Pearson, Rick. "CDs of the week". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 2012-07-27. 
  19. ^ Dando, Kristian. "Conor Maynard - 'Contrasts': A confident strut of a debut from the ‘British Bieber’". NME. Retrieved 07/12/2012. 
  20. ^ "Conor Maynard - Contrast (Capitol Records): Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  21. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (2012-07-26). "Conor Maynard: Contrast – review". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  22. ^ Montgomery, Hugh (2012-07-29). "Album: Conor Maynard, Contract (Parlophone)". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  23. ^ Sheperd, Fiona. "Album review: Contrast by Conor Maynard". The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  24. ^ Conor Maynard Conor Maynard [CD]
  25. ^ Conor Maynard - Contrast - Only at Target : Target
  26. ^ "Conor Maynard - 'Contrast' Australian Charts". australian-charts.com/. 
  27. ^ "Conor Maynard - Contrast". austriancharts.at/. 
  28. ^ "Conor Maynard - Contrast". ultratop.be/nl/. 
  29. ^ "Conor Maynard - Contrast". ultratop.be/fr/. 
  30. ^ "Conor Maynard - Contrast". danishcharts.com/. 
  31. ^ "Conor Maynard - Contrast". dutchcharts.nl/. 
  32. ^ "Conor Maynard - Contrast". .charts.de/. 
  33. ^ "Irish Albums Chart > Archive > Week Ending: 2 August 2012". GFK. 02-08-2012. Retrieved 02-08-2012. 
  34. ^ "Artisti - Classifica settimanale dal 17/09/2012 al 23/09/2012". FIMI. 2012-09-23. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  35. ^ "コナー・メイナード/コナー・メイナード". Oricon. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  36. ^ "Conor Maynard - 'Contrast' New Zealand Charts". charts.org.nz/. 
  37. ^ "Archive Chart". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  38. ^ "Conor Maynard - Contrast". hitparade.ch/. 
  39. ^ "Archive Chart". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  40. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/299608/conor+maynard/chart
  41. ^ "Contrast (CD) Conor Maynard". Weltbild (Germany). Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  42. ^ "Contrast - Maynard Conor za 43,99 zł". Empik. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  43. ^ "Conor Maynard: Contrast (2012): CD". HMV Group (UK). Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  44. ^ "iTunes - Music - Contrast by Conor Maynard". iTunes Store (UK). Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  45. ^ "CONOR MAYNARD "CONTRAST" W/ FREEBIES ON AUG 3 AT ASTRO THE BLOCK!". Facebook. Astroplus' profile. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  46. ^ "Contrast, disco (CD) di Maynard, Conor 0000000000000". La Feltrinelli. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  47. ^ "Contrast - Australian Release". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  48. ^ "disco (CD): Contrast: Conor Maynard:". Saraiva.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  49. ^ "Conor Maynard - Debut Album "Conor Maynard~CONTRAST~"". EMI Music Japan Inc. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  50. ^ "Amazon.com: Contrast: Conor Maynard: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 

External links[edit]