Review: ‘8Bit Heart’ by Simon Curtis

Take Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak, blend it with Janelle Monáe’s Metropolis: The Chase Suite, and mash the result with Lady Gaga’s The Fame, and you’ll begin to have an idea of what the album 8Bit Heart by Simon Curtis sounds like.

Curtis created 8Bit Heart after facing rejection from various record labels. The album’s title gives away both the album’s general concept and production sound. Much of this electropop album is created with sounds that come straight from video games from the late 80s and early 90s, while the album itself tells the story of a “BoyRobot” on a quest to find love.

The gimmick is largely unnecessary, though. Several of the songs on the album, including “Don’t Wanna Be Alone,” “Super Psycho Love,” and “Delusional,” manage to break free of the intentionally dated sounds and come through as refreshingly new dance pop tracks.

Curtis, who wrote every track on the album, also has a good share of clever lyrics to help make 8Bit Heart more than a simple dance album. Take “Diablo,” which takes a few fun swipes at an ex using the opening of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”: “Here’s the thing / Yeah, we started out friends / But this is not a Kelly Clarkson song / And not how it ends.”

If anything, one would have to wonder how the album would stand outside of the “BoyRobot” concept. A few of the songs, including the title track and “Fell in Love w/an Android,” are simply too tied into the concept to stand on their own, though the latter gets points for still having a catchy hook and a particularly effective closing line.

That being said, 8Bit Heart is an overall impressive collection of songs from an emerging pop talent. In an effort to reach as many people as possible, the artist is releasing the album for free via his website at www.simon-curtis.com.

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