Music

Milo Meskens’ Debut Album ‘Contrast’: A Track-by-Track Review

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Milo Meskens is a 22-year-old singer-songwriter from Belgium, whose first singles “Here With Me” and “New Beginning” recently went Platinum and Gold.

He first gained recognition in his birth country, thanks to the support of its biggest radio station (Studio Brussel) that picked “Here With Me” to be the Hotshot of January 2016 (the song was played every hour during the whole week). However, Milo’s fame is increasing in other European countries such as The Netherlands, where he will be performing in April.

Milo is, definitely, the 2018 artist to watch: in fact, he has just released his debut album, titled Contrast. The 10 songs it contains show just how much potential Milo has and how many types of songs he can rock. Although the majority of them are soft pop and chill tunes, others are more catchy with electric guitar, for example. Similarly, most of the album is about love, especially getting through a breakup, others’ themes are more about music, dreams and his career. Vocally, Milo is amazing in all of the songs, with a great vocal range and beautiful harmonies.

“New Beginning”

The album starts off with a single close to Milo’s heart: “New Beginning.” He said in an interview that it is about “how much it takes to find your way through despair, in the moments your courage feels like it just ain’t even there.”

“New Beginning” starts with the chorus sung softly with an acoustic guitar and some finger picking before getting more rhythmic during the pre-chorus. The bridge is, to my mind, the most interesting part of the song, with an increasing rhythm and harmonies that are even nicer with earphones in. The repetition’s growth from “Don’t let me down” to “I won’t let you down” also shows the message of the song: sometimes, you just need to take your future into your own hands.

“Twenty One”

The next track is another single released in October of 2017. From the beginning, you can hear the rhythm is different — this song is more catchy and rhythmic. It also presents great vocals from Milo and a very important music-related message.

Milo explained in the interview that he wrote “Twenty One” about “how hard it can be to follow your dreams and not give up, when it seems like nothing is ever going right. [And] about how hard it can be on the people around you; how sometimes you have to disappoint those you love to reach the goals you’ve set yourself.”

“Let You Go”

“Every time I kiss you (…) I’m putting up a show, so I’m gonna let you go.”

The third song off the album isn’t a single, and it has an acoustic guitar and piano foundation. There is, throughout the song, a chill rhythm, and Milo demonstrates a higher vocal range than in the previous songs. Lyrically speaking, “Let You Go” is about accepting that a love once shared is fading and that faking it is useless. It is about acceptance and allowing the person you’re with to go, in order for them to be happier.

“Memory Card”

Similarly to the previous track, “Memory Card” is about love, but not about letting someone go; rather, dealing with someone’s departure. Milo shares here the desire to erase the memories of someone who hurt him and to replace them with new and better ones.

“Wipe out all the memories I ever had of you and slowly fill the next card with thoughts of someone new.”

In terms of rhythm, this song is a slow acoustic song, accompanied by an entertaining fingerpicking. When the chorus kicks in, harmonies appear and the rhythm gets stronger. Just like “New Beginning,” the bridge presents a repetition of the line “erase me” with amazing harmonies, as well as high vocals on behalf of Milo.

“Stone Cold Liar”

“Stone Cold Liar” is Milo’s latest single, released in 2018. This song with an acoustic guitar foundation is, from the beginning, catchy and rhythmic and presents harmonies like many other songs in Contrast, especially in the pre-chorus and chorus. We also get a clear picture of Milo’s vocal abilities within this song — his voice can go pretty low and high. The bridge is interesting and consists of the repetition of the line “Ah you don’t you know me,” all while the tension grows.

“Stone Cold Liar” is, similarly to the two previous songs, about love — more particularly, the way you feel when realizing the person you love has been cheating on you and lying about it. This song is the statement of not wanting to be with a “stone cold liar.”

“Time”

This next song could also be about being a victim of cheating, but we can’t know for sure. What we do realize is that it is about the challenge but necessity of getting over someone who hurt you.

“It will hurt a while (…) But I too will be fine.”

Rhythmically speaking, the electric guitar base of “Time” makes me think of “Ruin” by Shawn Mendes and has got a really nice vibe. Milo’s powerful vocals during the chorus are captivating, as well as his smooth ones during the bridge — a slower and calmer part of the song. The electric guitar solo illustrates, on its own, the chill vibe “Time” has.

“Calibration”

Contrast’s sixth track has, to my mind, a LANY vibe, with a very modern background rhythm, making it stand out from Milo’s usual acoustic style. Along the lines of “Stone Cold Liar,” the chorus presents high vocals complemented by harmonies, which stay here for most of the rest of the song. The message we can get from “Calibration” is a career-related one: even if your current life is what you’ve always dreamt of, it’s hard to keep going and stay down to earth.

“Storms”

“Storms” is one of the truly slow songs off Milo’s debut album. As many other tracks, it is an acoustic one that contains a relaxing fingerpicking. In addition, the backup vocals throughout the song and Milo’s low voice in the bridge are very calming.

“And though you might be dreaming of rainbows, my lover, I will be finding the storms.”

The lyrics present the thoughts of someone watching the person he/she loves and figuring out what they’re dreaming and having a nightmare about. However, the very end of the song contains a turnaround. We realize that it was all a dream and the person was never there: “You have been gone all the while.”

“I Don’t Know You Anymore”

This track is also a true slow song — this time not on the guitar but on the piano. To my mind, it is one of the most interesting songs off Contrast, because it shows Milo’s wide range of vocals, as well as the power of his voice, notably during the bridge.

“I don’t know you anymore. Who I thought I loved before.”

“I Don’t Know You Anymore” is just like “Stone Cold Liar.” It is about trusting someone who ends up leaving with someone else. The artist realizes that now that she has cheated, he doesn’t feel like he knows her anymore.

“Here With Me”

The last song off Milo Meskens’ debut album is, surprisingly, his first single: an acoustic and slow song, relaxing through the presence of finger picking and harmonies. The bridge is, as many of the other ones on his album, crescendo with powerful and high vocals and a repetition: “You could be here with me.”

“I might find somebody new; no, I won’t find another you.”

Milo’s breakthrough single is, ironically, about his ex-girlfriend with whom “(he) broke up, because she felt like music was taking up too much time (in his life),” he told us.

Listen to the album on Spotify, iTunes or Amazon.

Photo Courtesy of Milo Meskens’ Facebook page.

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