Starting in the industry at a very young age Cody Simpson has done the whole pop/RNB thing and as he’s matured he’s found his sound in acoustic blues n roots. Splitting from his label he’s stripped everything back and delivers an organic approach to storytelling with the independent release “Free”. This album is a real indicator of the artist Cody Simpson wants to be and every song fulfills an honest and humble feeling. Opening with title track “Free” it perfectly embodies the headspace that Simpson wants you to be in while listening to this record. “Bare feet, swaying to a laid back beat, she just wanna be free.”. The whole album is very laidback and doesn’t rely on gimmicky hooks to catch your ears, it’s a raw and an intimate affair. This is not an album you will intently listen from start to finish. At fourteen tracks long it’s the perfect record to put on in the background while you’re on the beach in summer or road tripping with friends. You can drift in and out of listening to it and that’s absolutely okay. Some of the songs do flow into each other and while some are forgettable there are some that stand out with incredible lyrics, riffs and strong vocal delivery. “Happy Lil Hippie” is an upbeat acoustic/folk influenced song that would have easily fitted perfectly on his last album “Surfers Paradise”. It’s a bit more hook focused and provides a cool vibe that will have you bopping along. “Driftwood” shows off his guitar skills with finger picking goodness and a carefree vibe that resonates well. “I gotta free my soul from the troubles of lately. Follow my heart wherever it takes me. Let it flow on by like a piece of driftwood”. “Love Yourself” (Feat. G Love) brings a rock influence that compliments Simpson’s vocal range extremely well. It’s a sound we haven’t heard him approach before and it pleasantly surprises. “New Problems”, “Flower” and “Livin Easy” also deliver standout moments that will undoubtedly become fan favourites with their John Mayer influences and calming sound.
“Free” shows a mature side of Cody Simpson that we had caught glimpses of over the past couple of years but now he’s in the spotlight, right where he deserves to be. This album is the perfect introductory to his refined sound and while some of his old fans won’t connect with this deeper material he will win over a new mature fanbase.