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the Sun It Shines Here,
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This review is from: In Your Bright Ray (Audio CD)
A brilliant, beautiful solo album from Grant McClennan. No-one should be surprised.
I've always had a tiny suspicion that he had a slight edge in the Go-Betweens writing dept or rather - that the songs that appealed to me the most - were his.
'Dusty in Here', 'Bye Bye Pride', 'Quiet Heart' and the indescribably excellent 'Cattle and Cane' all struck me as typical GM efforts, as opposed to the slightly harsher Robert Forster moments. This thinking is emphatically confirmed by 'In Your Bright Ray'; an album that does indeed SHINE with immaculate songs and deep, layered arrangements.
Grant McLennan (unapologetically) specializes in beauty - that's pretty obvious - but he knows where the boundary is; he never oversteps the mark, never descends into the realm of the embarrassing cheese.
His words are forever up-lifting, his melodies ever celebratory, and his commendable determination to stick to his ethereal guns are what mark him out, set him apart from the rabble.
What I specially like about 'IYBR' is the cohesion across its 13 songs (I refuse to call them 'tracks' - Grant McClennan never wrote a 'track' in his life!).
It seems much more than just booking a studio, then plonking the results on a cd.
They're presented almost concept-album like. Care was taken in the writing, recording and running order, and this attention to aesthetics is a major reason why 'IYBR' works.
This is one of the things I didn't like about the recent View album; it was too all over the place, like they were afraid of themselves.
No such problems for GM, he stays very much in one place, he's confident enough to know his own strengths and weaknesses, and tho he will strive, he knows what he's good at. Like a football player, playing in his own position. He still want's to achieve, to be the best he can, but realizes he must stay where he is to do it. At his strongest point.
McClennan was 40+ when he recorded this album, ie; its aimed at me! And that feels good.
Great pop is rarely aimed at the over 25's; Dylan perhaps, Hall and Oates, Jackson Browne - there's a few, but doesn't it just feel great when you've got some-one on your side? Some-one talking to you. Somebody (gulp!) who cares.
More importantly, he's not just going through the motions. He's creating something positive and lasting and in that (excellent) sense, 'IYBR' is that brilliant and beautiful and RARE thing.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 21, 2007 3:58:04 AM PDT
Mary Whipple says:
Your review intrigued me enough to want to play some samples, but, alas, Amazon doesn't include any here. :-( Mary
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2007 2:19:35 AM PDT
Typical. I can't really give you any pointers either Mary, apart from who I mention in the review. It's not like jazz tho'.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2007 7:10:26 AM PDT
Amanda Richards says:
Does this sound like 50 Cent? Pharrell? Eminem?
You know how limited I am, Paul :)
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2007 9:57:55 AM PDT
Is this another fine member of the Norwich Eccentrics Club? I'm curious about this one ... Not like The Bevis Frond I'm sure, but I love Jackson Browne?
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2007 3:03:11 PM PDT
No Amanda, I'm afraid not. Barrell and co are far too controversial for my meek and timid pages. Limited A.R.? I think not.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2007 3:18:45 PM PDT
A bit eccentric but Brisbane not Norwich. He's a bit J.B I suppose, same kind of poignance in the lyrics, maybe round the 'Late for the Sky' period. Good to see you back ploughing the reviews furrow t', I'm just lining up UB40 for a particularly malicious assault. Does me the power of good. Hedd.
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