Review: Conor Maynard, ‘Contrast’

Review: Conor Maynard, ‘Contrast’: Aidin Vaziri | Although it would be easy to mistake 19-year-old Conor Maynard for a wayward member of One Direction, he’s more likely Britain’s belated answer to Justin Bieber. Like his Canadian counterpart, he was discovered when his self-made YouTube videos, in which he covered songs by Drake and Katy Perry, drew millions of viewers. He also roped in an expensive cadre of R&B producers to give his breathy, wide-eyed pop tunes serious luster on his debut album, “Contrast.” Collaborators such as Stargate, Pharrell Williams and Frank Ocean work their usual magic – the high-energy Ne-Yo duet “Turn Around” and wobbly M.I.A. tribute “Can’t Say No” feel like future chart conquerors – while Maynard’s primary directive seems to be to stay the hell out of the way.

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