Kristian North Transcends His '80s Influences on 'Passion Play'
Published Apr 28, 2021It's always interesting when an artist decides to branch out from their signature style, seizing an opportunity to further explore their universe. While not all of these experiments can be successful, some are worthy of interest and hold up pretty well in the long run. Kristian North, formerly of garage-punks Babysitter, offers the exact opposite of what he's known for on his solo debut, and it certainly delivers. His latest musical offering, Passion Play, is another example of North's brilliant talent in a different style.
On this album, North transforms himself into a modern-day crooner, ready to seduce anyone with his raspy, deep voice. His album is filled with electric retro energy down to the smallest detail. The album opener, "Fantasy," is a very sexy song with an excellent groove. "Shadow of the Pyramid" is a delight thanks to North's voice and the accompanying synths.
North doesn't just stick to funk and new wave songs. He also explores the traditional '80s power ballad with "More Than Yesterday." From the first note, everything about this slow track reminds us of the closing song of a Brat Pack movie or an '80s romantic comedy. His voice slows down, languishing for his lover. The whole album shines because of North's ability to dive into emotions directly through the arrangements in addition to the lyrics.
Passion Play is a top-notch album, showing us that the influence of the '80s is still alive and well. But it isn't just a rehash of the past; it stands on its own terms thanks to North's marvellous performances and boundless creativity. Grab your shiniest clothes and lose yourself to dance. (Mothland)