The 1980s revival has now been going on for longer than the 1980s themselves, but you've got to admire Dornik's dedication to the decade. On 'Strong', the opening track from his eponymous debut LP, there are syn-drums, chiming synths and squiggly keyboards within the first five seconds, all racing along at breakneck speed.
Whilst Dornik's pop-soul hybrid does mine the past for inspiration, that's not to say it's derivative. Far from it in fact; the woozy funk of 'Standing In Your Line' is one of the singles of the year, and tracks such as 'Chain Smoke' are packed with irresistible hooks.
The most striking thing about Dornik, however, is his voice. He's been called Croydon's answer to Michael Jackson, and it's not difficult to see why. Specifically, it's Thriller-era MJ: not too rough around the edges but still displaying more depth than his teen idol incarnation. Dornik then melds these airy vocals to killer tunes to breathe new life into a genre that had long gone stale.
In some ways, Dornik is the yin to The Weeknd's yang. Whereas Abel Tesfaye's slow jams belie a sinister undertone, Dornik's tracks display more innocent traits. Either way, Dornik has come out of leftfield to release one of the best quality and most addictive pop records of recent times.
Words: Joe Rivers
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