Singer and songwriter Calum Scott’s stunning debut album “Only Human”
by Mark Keen
Calum Scott was born and bred in my adopted hometown of Hull, and is known to many after his appearance in Britain’s Got Talent in 2015. He got Simon’s golden buzzer, but since then he has quietly built a career of his own without the input of Simon Cowell. In this article we are going to focus on his debut top ten album “Only Human”.
This album is a real gem. It really is Calum’s ‘coming out’ album dealing with the heartache, loneliness and joy of coming to terms with his sexuality. He does it with considerable charm and this never feels contrived. It’s certainly heartbreaking at times, but ultimately leaves us filled with hope.
Let’s start with his cover of Robyn‘s “Dancing On My Own”. With style and grace, and without the support of a major label, Calum managed an enormous sleeper hit across Europe in 2016 and even made ripples on the US Adult charts. To achieve such success without a major label is remarkable and demonstrates his strength and determination. This release earned him a well deserved Brit Award nomination.
The follow up single “Rhythm Inside” didn’t make the same impact, but nevertheless started to show there was more than meets the eye with Calum. He could have so easily disappeared after Britain’s Got Talent, but he soon started to win people over, and an honest and understated interview in Attitude showed that he was now confident enough to be open about his sexuality. Still a brave move for a pop star. The amazing thing is that he did it with the minimum of fuss.
In 2017 Calum carried on making various appearances, including on US television, and he soon came back to my attention with the stunning lyric video for “You Are The Reason”. In another place and time this would have been a huge hit, as it is a stunning ballad, but it has sold 2 million copies across the world. The proper video is again stunning, filmed in Kiev.
If this wasn’t enough Calum would then do various duets of “You Are The Reason” noticeably with Leona Lewis. They obviously had a fantastic time recording this duet and helped propel the single to Gold status in the US.
A further single “What I Miss Most” has been released and whilst not troubling the charts it is another great effort. This song lyrics features the famous ‘three crowns’ of Hull so we know he misses home. Again, I’ve picked the lyric video as this is another great effort.
However, Calum’s greatest achievement is his debut album “Only Human” with its highly personal lyrics. In my view, this is easily one of the best debut albums of the year. The album hit number 4 in the UK and has had success across the world, including the US.
There are some heartbreaking tracks (“If Our Love Is Wrong”) mixed with some great upbeat tracks (“Come Back Home”). One of the best tracks uses an interpolation (I think that’s the word) of Human League’s Human to stunning effect. “Stop Myself (Only Human)” would make a great single. There is an emotional co-write with Jamie Scott (who has written many a hit) in “Hotel Room” which is a lament about spending a night with someone who doesn’t feel the same way the next day. We’ve all been there!
So go and check out the album, you won’t be disappointed. I’m hoping to bump into Calum in Hull and get him to sign my CD. In the meantime he also has a co-wrote on a track on Boyzone’s forthcoming album.
If you want further proof of his versatility check out this collaboration with Don Diablo where Calum gets the paint out.