Is Conor Maynard More Adventurous? ‘Contrast’ Shows Some Tinges

If ‘teen’ is a suffix on your age, then you shouldn’t be too suggestive musically, right? Well, that has seemed to be the trend throughout the year. British pop singer Conor Maynard is 20 and January 8, 2013 saw the U.S. release of his debut ContrastBecause I have such an ‘affinity’ to teen-pop/youthful-pop – at least to criticize it – I had to partake.  This was not my first rodeo with Maynard as I’d heard single “Can’t Say No” and while it had the corniness of teen-pop, I nodded my head… a little. But anyways, Maynard takes a more suggestive route than Bieber or One Direction could hope to take. Even if you know those kids are feeling like their bro Conor, Conor seems to have more leeway.

Leeway? Yes. Maynard has made it clear he wants to separate himself from Justin Bieber. He is a position to do so to some extent because he does NOT completely have to adhere to a youthful audience. He’s 20.  Bieber was literally a kid when My World came out in 2009 (15 to be exact) so he didn’t have the leeway to over sexualize.  Sure, Maynard is not as grown as Justin Timberlake, who he most emulates on Contrast, but he’s college-aged and has more leg room to deliver the sensual than Bieber, who must balance his audience given his youthfulness when he first debuted. I don’t think anyone is lamenting Justin Bieber’s fanbase plights though…

Anyways, Maynard is painted as a bit of a horn-dog here, but as I must keep emphasizing, he is 20. The most entertaining part of listening to Contrast was to analyze and scrutinize the suggestive references. No, the album isn’t all about girls that he “can’t say no” to, but it’s obvious what Maynard wants… what every guy clear across earth understands universally.

1. “Animal” : Maynard tells his girl “…Girl tear me apart, like an animal…” Sexual tension is no fun, especially for 20-year old apparently.

2. “Turn Around” featuring Ne-Yo: Maynard keeps it pretty G-rated here much to our chagrin, but it is a dance cut at least. He’s more concerned about floating high in the sky – and no it’s not even a weed reference. Bummer. Justin Bieber may have one-up on you here buddy.

3. “Vegas Girl” : Oh there is so much bad-boy rumination here.  On the pre-chorus, Maynard makes references to multiple songs (“I’ll knock you down like you’re Keri / for get your name like Rihanna / you can run the world, Queen B / be unthinkable, Alicia / we can go so far if she let go /and I ain’t gonna leave without her…”). Yes, he manages to name check Keri Hilson (“Knock You Down”), Rihanna (“What’s My Name”) , Beyoncé (“Run The World (Girls)”), and Alicia Keys (“Unthinkable (I’m Ready)”).  On the addictive chorus, he claims “This is for the girl that get down low / the whole club wanna see you go…” YEEEEAAAAAH BOY… That Conor is something…

4. “Can’t Say No” : Not being able to resist a girl can be a problem if it’s the wrong girl, but I suppose that’s a risk Maynard is willing to take. “Girls, girls, girls, I just can’t say no / never see them coming I just watch them go… take control, making me sweat girl run that show…” Whoever these girls are have got Conor all hot and bothered… “Twitterpated” as they say in the Disney movie BambiHe even educates us on the cut “Some girls are naughty…” Naaahhh dawg, couldn’t be!?!

5. “Lift Off” featuring Pharrell Williams : Little Casanova Conor puts a little “oomph” into with some tasteful falsetto. Wroof, wroof.

6. “Mary Go Round” : It’s hard to determine with this cut if it’s just incredibly clumsy or tries to hard to be suggestive.  The chorus is something to say the least (“Mary, Mary go around / why you playing me, turn me upside / Mary let me hit the ground / get me off o here / while you go round and round and round…”). Then add some more odd, yet semi-suggestive lyrics  like “Go play with someone else, I’m getting off this ride now…” OK…

7. “Take Off” : Suggestive, suggestive, suggestive (aka horny).  “Break it down now, shake the ground now / wanna hear you scream loud with the countdown…” Conor sings on the pre-chorus.  On the chorus, he’s “going in so hard that the world can’t take us, can’t take us, can’t take us.” But the best corniness of the suggestiveness comes on the second verse: “All the ladies look like a damn poster / grab your girlfriend, pull her closer/ make her ride, ride it, Roller coaster…”  and later “I can make you flay cause / come and join the mile high club…” He really, really want’s to ‘take off’…

8. “Better Than You” featuring Rita Ora:  Not my favorite by any means. All I got is “I’m ready to go, oh/ sure you wanna play this game / I can do it better than you…” Many could’ve done this cut better than Conor or Rita. Just saying.

9. “Another One” : This is the cut in which you know Conor is not appealing to Justin Bieber’s constituency – clearly Justin Timberlake.  He takes risks here.  “She had me going damn oh la la / said she wanna peel my banana na na” he boasts.  “Guys coming out the club empty handed / no girl cursing like god dammit…” And if that wasn’t enough, what about the pre-chorus (“Just say Voulez vou you know the rest, merci beaucoup she said and got undressed...”). Hormones running rampant… 

10. “Pictures” : Definitely not for kids as Maynard begins “I stack these magazines in the corner (after I’m done with them) / and I still got the same hopes that I started with (that you’d be in one of them)…” Wonder what ever Conor has been doing with those magazines? Hmmm…

11. “Glass Girl” : On this Pharrell pop/soul/dubstep cut, Maynard “Can’t hide it in your smile or hide it in your arms / sorry to tell you Ms. Glass girl…” P.S. He Knows who you are…

12. “Just In Case” :  Had to end the album more tame didn’t you? No embarrassing or pointed suggestive references worthy analyzing/scrutinizing here… Oh well.

So, the Justin Bieber comparisons can die. Justin Bieber is talking about Buzz Lightyear and Fondue;  Maynard is looking at magazines, talking about girls getting low, and speaking in French.  No comparison!

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