A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Max Bouratoglou’s new album “Idle Intuition”

Max Bouratoglou is a 16-year-old from the Bronx in New York City. His new album “Idle Intuition” is an uptempo, lyrical album that is less pop in the mainstream sense and more indie-alternative-country.

Some of the songs felt a bit similar and repetitive, but songs like “Clay” and “Reminisce” were upbeat and different from the others.

The album was not the kind of current ‘pop’ music a lot of other well known artists use; the synthetic, high-bass copies of instrumental music that well known artists, like The Weednd, use as a melody in their tracks is not in this album. Rather, it borders on indie-country music, with more of an emphasis on the lyrics rather than a balance between the melody and words. That is what should be expected when listening to “Idle Intuition.” Max Bouratoglou styles his music in a more country-indie way by making it obvious that his songs are meant to connect with the listener at an individual level by referring to someone in the dilemmas he is singing about. This can be a hit or miss for a lot of listeners who misconstrue pop as a universal genre, where the background music and instrumentals in the songs are as catchy and important as the artist singing.

Most of the top songs in pop right now often make the instrumentals and melodies as equal to or slightly greater than the artist’s capabilities as a singer and lyrics. This is a big shift in pop right now; there are a myriad of artists who make remixes of already existent songs and change them in some way. There are even artists like Zedd and Daft Punk whose music consists solely of electronic instrumentals. So instead of being contracted to help write the instrumentals in songs like The Weeknd’s “Starboy”, Daft Punk is a collaborative artist that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the lyrics or the song, but rather the background melody. Thus, “Idle Intuition” can be unattractive to listeners who like pop this way; listeners who easily get tired of a simple guitar track and garage band acoustics will have a hard time listening to the album all the way through.

He is a nice singer and has a very harmonious voice. However, artists that are known for their voices like Sia, Adele or Zayn have a range far greater than Bouratoglou, one where they can belt out huge songs with significant highs and lows in every song. There is not the same kind of frequent range of high points and low points in each of “Idle Intuition’s” songs, so tracks like “Contagious” and “Changes” – which are consistent in pace – individually fall a little flat.

There are a lot of albums that you can find that sound exactly like “Idle Intuition.”That could ultimately be why it sounds safe; there is not a lot of risk associated in the sound of each song, especially when you listen to the album from start to finish. There weren’t any songs that got stuck in my head, and that’s because if I were to quietly sing any of the lyrics to myself, I would have a hard time trying to tell someone which song the lyrics were from.