2019 sees Greyson Chance reintroducing himself to the world as a mature man. His long awaited sophomore studio album ‘portraits’ is a bold, emotional and honest collection of tracks that dives head first into the last year of heartbreak and confusion that haunted his mind. Opening with the romantic and vulnerable ‘Shut Up’ he lays down the foundations of this love story gone wrong with the humble actions of falling in love. “And when your eyes catch mine, I know I talk too much. So give me your two lips and baby I’ll shut up”. That then perfectly rolls into the ode ‘bleed you still’ which hears him exclaiming how he thinks they are meant to be together and how he will always love him. To give a contrast in the romantic section of the record he also includes ‘yours’ which is a synth driven ode to how they are always his even though he’s out on the road touring and making music. This section of the album is very euphoric and uplifting with it’s dreamy production that compliments the high register of his vocal range. But from there he begins to pre-empt the heartbreak that is to follow on ‘west texas’ which adds in some beautiful imagery that takes you on a road trip of tears and realisations with a finger click and slight beat driven production. That brings you to the albums strongest and most emotional moment, ‘white roses’, as he details the initial shock to the heart break he experienced. “Darling, be careful with me cause there’s part of me that you don’t know. Darling, be gentle with me when you tell me that you need to go”. But it’s the final line from the chorus that will vividly stay with you for the rest of the album. “Cause you cut me wide open, left teardrops on all my white roses”. It’s an image that perfectly represents heartbreak that you won’t be able to get out of your head.
Shifting into the intoxicating ‘black on black’ he gets a little seductive as he falls for the wrong guy but likes it. He even throws in a cool spoken vocal production during the third verse which briefly changes up the pace and feeling. But it’s ‘timekeeper’ that again immediately grabs your attention. He directly addresses his last relationship and recalls falling in love and questions how his ex could just walk away as if nothing ever happened. It has a lot of angst, resentment and unanswered questions that he wants resolved. It’s also a bit of a bop to groove along to which is un-expecting but appreciated. ‘seasons nineteen’ is a nostalgic song about understanding whilst the gospel influence ‘stand’ reflects on his childhood before ‘lakeshore’ wraps up the whole album with a DIY feeling of moving forward from everything. It closes this album with a sense of understanding as he reflects on the highs and lows and learns to take the positives from the negatives. He’s matured a lot since when we were first introduced to him in 2010 and has really become an artist you need to listen to. This album is beautiful, reflective, honest and full of great vocals and melodies that will have you singing, dancing and crying along.