2. Gun Shy
3. All It Was
4. Don't Mind
7. All We Know
10. Half Awake
11. Little Sun
The opening intro track feels like it doesn’t add anything, I’m not sure why it’s there? When you have a voice this uniquely good with the ability to project pain and emotion contained within it why worry about little musical ditties? There is another little musical interlude later that also feels unnecessary. The focus should be on the voice.
There were times when I thought this album might morph into Arcade Fire, it never quite went there as it feels like the musical ambition doesn’t yet match the voice.
Don’t get me wrong, the musical arrangements work fine, I just feel a little more ambition is needed. I sense this voice can take it and can survive some serious challenges.
The best song for me was ‘Better’. I found myself really getting what the writer was trying to do, something I didn’t get from every song. If anything the closing to the album was stronger than the opening, if the quality of 'Better' and 'Half Awake' had been present throughout then this album would easily have been a five, these two songs are particularly strong.
I enjoyed this album but it never quite reached the heights I hoped for. It’s a good album, it just feels like it could have been a great album. I do wonder if this music will work better live? It feels like there might be an intensity in the live performance that didn’t quite appear on the record.
I would recommend listening to this and making your own mind up, I liked it, loved the voice and am keeping my fingers crossed there’s more and better to come, I truly think there is a great record to be made as this is a voice that deserves to be more widely heard.
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Review - Iain McClay