Customer Review

April 14, 2019
I like these self-confessional types of lyrics and he brings to light slightly different aspects of romantic relationships that aren't commonly explored in pop music. Although the offerings are predominantly ballads, I found the melodies to be distinct enough from each other to keep it musically interesting.
His vocals are stunning, from the acrobatic runs, the flipping between falsetto and belt voice, and the angst-ridden crack in his voice. I might agree with a previous reviewer that he occasionally oversings and the melismata become a little excessive, especially on the later tracks. Overall, the emotional intensity in his singing kept me enthralled. I couldn't quit feeling like I was listening to another gay singer-songwriter, this one from Canada-David Sereda. Their voices are very similar. Check out his sorely underrated CD, Blue Guide.
The reason for the less than five star rating is overwhelmingly the accompaniment and the way it was recorded. It doesn't show much creativity in the choice of instrumentation (mostly piano and guitar, which I like, but add an oboe or cello in there once in a while.) But my biggest gripe is the murkiness of the recording; no distinct string-picking or key-striking as with his idols James Taylor and Carole King (my favorites, also.) It's a mushy meld of sounds which provide the underlying chords, but are frustratingly indistinct. The sound is not as bad as Hozier's first album, but approaching that in (?) reverb. My only supposition for engineering it this way was to have the focus be totally on his voice. If so, it worked, but it would have been there anyway. It seems that so many modern recordings can be faulted for this. I'd rather listen to pressings from the 70s on CD; much clearer. I would think with newer technology, greater quality recordings would result.
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Product Details

4.8 out of 5 stars
82
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