Candy with a Crispy Centre – The Heist Delivers

Boy band ahoy!… If you’re still reading then you should check out The Heist’s self-titled album ‘The Heist.’ Not as polished as One Direction, and not as annoying as Justin Bieberone of Toronto’s newest pop-bands has found a sweet-spot in my earphones. And they play their own instruments so let’s give them ten times more street cred than the previously mentioned “artists.”

Judge as you might, this sounds like Disney music. Think: the machine that produced The Jonas Brothers, and Demi Lovato. Though the production quality doesn’t sound as expensive as only a multi-billion dollar company can, the melodies and performances on this EP are worth comparing.

‘All I Want’ is a crooning single on its own. The back-up singing after the chorus is a range-strain, but this song stands out as memorable and hummable hours after you’ve left the earphones hanging. According to iTunes, the final track ‘Let There Be Love’ is the most played, with its funkier tunes and Bieberesque quality. But it’s my least favourite, so what do I know?

‘Lonely Heart’ is the song at the end of the Disney movie, after all the words have been said and we get a little montage of what happened to the supporting cast… It sounds like a happy ending, betrayed only by the lonely lyrics. But you’d never know they were feeling down with the quick-pick guitar and simple, innocuous beat.

With an electro-haze intro, ‘Save Madonna’ is a Disney Cruise in 3 minutes.”Life ain’t no holiday,” but I can sense Micky Mouse approaching with Mimosas. This song is sweet with its modified electric guitar. It’s a clean and classical melody, mild and familiar, yet, as on ‘Lonely Heart,’ it’s accompanied by a dark message; about a woman using music to recall 1985, conjuring up her glory days to escape the disappointing life she lives… That’s pretty deep for a song with voice multipliers. But it’s hard to take in the lyrics when you’re straight-up dancing at work.

The youthful, almost naive, quality of the melodic choices takes a turn on the second half of the EP, ‘Lay it all on Me’ is heartbreaking and soulful like Maroon 5 meets Elton John. At this point the emotional maturity of the lyrics and music catch up with each other. “If it happens in the dark, tell me does it even happen at all?” we go full Zayne with ‘Cold Hearted Killer.’ With that xylophonic synth and sexy beat that gets you moving into the accapella chorus. Like most pop artists today, there’s a lot more of this album owed to R&B, than say Rock&Roll.

The Heist (Steven Porter, Seth Meyer, Spencer Porter, and Tyler Tsang) have established their chemistry with this self-titled album. While not redefining their genre, or differentiating themselves from their contemporaries, they have produced an impressive string of radio-ready music that Disney would buy in a heart-throb. But Disney be damned, ‘The Heist’ is proof that pop with substance is made best by actual musicians, and not machines wearing mouse ears.

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Word nerd and holistic queer.
Author – screen writer – lover of avocados.

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