Cody Simpson – Surfers Paradise album review

General industry knowledge and cultural observation suggests a short career for a musician who begins at age eleven. Long term success does not, by any practical reasoning, seem possible with such an early start date. Eleven is formative, an age meant for arcade games and laser tag not technical sound mixing and editing.  The exception, of course, is true motivation—the real stuff, not the brand you see on TV—the kind Cody Simpson appears to be full of.

Simpson’s story is candy coated, it’s the one you tell your parents to convince them that dropping out of high school to, “focus on your music career” is a good idea. In 2009, Simpson was discovered on YouTube and offered a contract with Atlantic Records. Since then, he has run at full speed, head first, with a collection of tours, a Nickelodeon Australia Kids Choice Award, two EPs, and two LPs all in just four years.

The latest album is a saccharine, vocoded rendition of what you’d expect when you think Surfers Paradise—upbeat, tame, Jason Mraz meets Sublime.  It’s eight tracks of precisely summed up teenage summer.  Cody Simpson has certainly found his niche, which is not an easy task for any musician, let alone a sixteen year old one.

In the 2013 pop-land of One Direction and Miley Cyrus, where auto-tune rules and image pays (ahead of perceived talent) the competition is stiff. What might set Cody Simpson apart is the fact that he remembers a time when all there was was a built-in mic and a YouTube account.  It’s that or a Bieber, Simpson, Emblem3 supergroup.

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