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"Did I just let you go? It felt so wrong / I must have just hesitated / Because, now you're gone."

There are many different ways to start an album. More often than not, artists tend to opt for a brash, loud opening in an attempt to grab your attention. Tropics, however, takes a slightly different approach; his sultry, honey-coated vocals immediately take centre stage. He whispers the opening lines in such a way that it hits you right between the eyes and sends shivers down your spine. It's a beauty that simply cannot be ignored. All of a sudden, you are taken into a story of a love gone wrong as it slowly twinkles into the beautiful hum of soulful emotion that filters elegantly into the rest of the album. It perfectly demonstrates Ward's knack to write songs that capture the very essence of love, jealousy and regret.

Tropics is the moniker for super talented electronic artist and multi-instrumentalist (some people just have it all) Chris Ward and in Rapture you will find a chilled-out electronic soul album that simply bursts alive with emotion. It shines through every line, every stripped-back beat, and every glistening harmony. It's not a complete departure for Ward, but on Rapture we're treated to a level of maturity lacking on debut Parodia Flare, which stands as a statement of what Ward is truly about and what he is capable of (this development may also have something to do with the fact that Parodia Flame was recorded in a closet in his house when he was 22, whilst Rapture wears a much more professional suit of production.)

Rapture is a pure gem of an album that seems to glitter with promise. It has been perfectly crafted to melt into your subconscious, as the songs merge into each other with ease - carrying a lightness and charm thanks to the bright production that supports Ward's frequently simple, but always stunning lyricism and vocals. Just listen to closing track, 'Not Enough', to get a glimpse of how well the vocal melodies are entwined and layered to develop a stunningly simple and striking effect.

Simplicity really seems to be the key feature of this album. From the one word song titles, such as 'Hunger', 'Kwiat', 'Indigo' and 'Gloria', to the stripped-back ethos of the beats that allow the different elements of the tracks to shine through - whether that be the piano melodies or the heavenly backing vocals that help enrich the power of 'Hunger'. Ward plays with the simplicity and creates space within the music that allows the different tones and sounds to grow within.

It's also clear that Ward is unafraid of expressing his romantic feelings and emotions in a variety of different ways. On the album's title track, there is a brief moment of upbeat expression. It's jazz-fuelled, and warming in the same way that a ray of sunshine can warm you on a winter's day. This is also found on the brilliant 'Home & Consonance', that begins modestly, before subtly building with tingling percussion, dreamy synths and a fast-paced drum trill. It really is uplifting.

Ward proves that there's still room for him to make his mark on the genre - producing an album that feels fresh and bright. Not a bad way to start the year.

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