Dornik, Dornik - album review: Heavily indebted to nu-soul seducers The Weeknd and Miguel

Download: Strong; Stand in Your Line; Drive

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Croydon bedroom-soulman Dornik’s debut album reveals a definite talent, albeit one heavily indebted to nu-soul seducers like The Weeknd and Miguel.

The single “Stand in Your Line” is typical: with its loping bassline, gossamer-light vocals, and keyboards lagging languorously behind the beat, it’s the musical equivalent of a caress. “Strong” opens the album with several differently-treated vocal tracks fluting through autotune over a brittle, skittering drum programme, Dornik celebrating how “everybody’s getting strong, strong, strong”.

The album never regains that song’s scuttling momentum, lapsing into a boudoir-soul bubble-bath that, with too much immersion, leaves one’s interest wrinkling. The oozing, miasmic slow croon “Blush” heralds the shift, and betrays the consequences: it simply doesn’t establish a decisive shape, but remains amorphous and unfocused.

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