Calum Scott’s Sophomore Album Is the Ballad-Heavy Soundtrack for Your Next Breakup
Now that Sam Smith’s star has waned, is the world ready for another gay male Adele? New Calum Scott album Bridges, the follow-up to his successful debut Only Human, answers with a resounding yes. Are we ready for it?
If you’re in the middle of a great big romantic comedy and/or IRL breakup, this ballad-heavy, 49-minute slab of shiny commercial pop is your official soundtrack melodrama. The plaintive chords that open the record with “Biblical” set the tone for the heady highs of love and the thorny roots of mental illness he compassionately dissects in the closing title track.
“The title track ‘Bridges’ is the most personal and most difficult song I have ever written,” Calum has said. “It’s about a much darker time in my life where I was in a terrible place and was literally questioning whether or not I had the strength to continue the path I was on. I actually questioned for a long time whether I should include it on this record due to the nature of it, and how incredibly personal the story is. But in the end, I had to.
“I have seen how being honest, like with my song ‘No Matter What’ from the first album, has resonated so deeply with so many people and sharing those experiences with others has become so important to me. That relatability is what I aim for; to try and make a difference with my music and to try and inspire compassion and understanding. To show people that they are not alone.”
On Bridges, Scott is offering you a very broad shoulder to cry on – whether from sheer happiness as on “Heaven” or “Flaws,” or from the heartache we bring on ourselves as in “Goodbye, Again” and “Last Tears.” And though his métier is the heart, he confronts his father’s homophobia directly on the tough-minded and genuinely heartbreaking “Boys in the Street.”
What you won’t find here is a beat that makes you want to get up and dance (mid-tempo is the harshest it gets). For that, you need to seek out his collaboration with Lost Frequencies on “Where Are You Now” (of which we hope there is much, much more because, frankly, Scott is sexy as hell when he smiles).
Like Adele’s 30, this sophomore record bogs itself down in ballads and ruminations, yet Scott’s sincerity and the strength of his vocalizing mitigates that criticism. He’s been through it the last few years, and one day when he’s happier we will no doubt get his up-tempo masterpiece. For now, he’s feeling his feels and counting on the rest of us feeling them right along with him. Now excuse me while I go dab the tears out of my eyes.