Keiran – “The Mask”

Pop, R&B

Score: 5.9

There are clearly defined good/bad points when experiencing “The Mask” for the first time, although they should change with further listens. Firstly, the beat (by Gifted the Great) doesn’t start well – but once you’ve listened to it a few times, it’s actually quite superb, with lush synths and a deliberately slowed down tempo working well with the various switch-ups. The concept is well-executed (girl with figurative/literal mask on, etc) and the chorus, whilst understated, is rather good. However, though the video is well done and everything is extremely professional, it’s Keiran that – in conjunction with whoever mixed/mastered the vocals – has really let the side down, unfortunately. He’s just not that great or confident a singer yet, and the points where he delivers a more simple tone work infinitely better than when he tries something more complex. That one can forgive, as hopefully he should just improve with time and experience, but closer listens show that the vocals aren’t even tracked properly (meaning they are minutely off beat). Whoever was recording it should have made him work harder on his singing, simplified it all, and (ironically) masked the lesser vocal takes with further studio effects. Plus tracked it on beat. It’s a real shame as “The Mask” is sabotaged – it could have been in the Best New Music section, easily – but hopefully Keiran will learn from the experience.

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