Rationale – Rationale
Synthpop | R&B | Alternative
There have been a lot of hotly anticipated albums in 2017, but after winning our award for best new artist, Rationale’s debut has been top of the list here at Belwood. It’s also one of the few albums that lives up to the hype. His eponymous debut showcases everything that makes him such a captivating artist. Whether he’s delving into electronic pop on ‘Into The Blue’, synth driven, well-spoken R&B on ‘Prodigal Son’, or futuristic soul on ‘Deliverance’, Rationale is on top form. Seamlessly blending the best that a range of styles have to offer, he stands out as one of the most versatile modern artists with his powerful vocals and a masterful grasp of how to create an addictive hit, as well as his own distinctive approach and aesthetic. His debut is a thrilling first step on what will one day prove to be a remarkable career.
While it is chock-a-block with fan favourites, the album’s biggest surprise and delight is closing track ‘Somewhere to Belong’. The stripped back offering shines a spotlight on his gorgeous vocals, and really puts into perspective his talents both as a singer and as a songwriter. My only quarrel with the album is that it lacks cohesion. As around half of the tracklist consists of old songs it plays like a greatest hits record, and the occasionally overzealous album rollout didn’t help matters either. This isn’t an issue for new listeners however, and if anything helps draw in new fans by exposing them to some of his best work. Many Belwood favourites have followed greatness with missteps over the past couple of years, but this award winner shows no sign of faltering. If anything, his capacity for writing genre-defying hits seems on the up and up.