Songs From The Mirror
(Right Track Records)
This artist has one hell of a distinctive pop voice and here presents his first album, recorded in NY, London and The Maldives.
Reviewing McGoozer’s first single release song, I said this:
McGoozer’s debut single, ‘One and Only Girl’, produced by Loren Toolajlan takes a leaf from Train’s style…ukulele to the fore, twinkly backdrop, splashes of horns and a high-register vocal. The melody rolls along like a cross between Culture Club and Green Gartside. Both those acts sold singles back in the day, so can McGoozer do so in the present? BTW our pop monkey Glenn claims this chap did BV’s for Fred Abbott and he’s probably right.
Having now heard the album, met the man and guessed his main influences, written down on a drink mat before we spoke and revealed post-chat, I can confirm that McGoozer has a hatful of catchy tunes and a way with words. A chat will follow, on this site….
Lead cut Song From The Mirror has a jaunty ‘Boys Of Summer’ vibe about it. The Mike & The Mechanics style delivery – fair enough, he toured with them! – includes a pinch of Neil Finn on the defined alto vocal and reeks of the radio-friendly.
Falling Out Of Love has an epic intro, itchy guitar scrubbing and a regal sound. A European tinge is evident throughout the number and all is topped by a clear vocal. Walk Run Fly goes for a swampier sound, wah’d guitar lurking in the reeds. AS elsewhere on the collection, the basslines are impressive, unhurried, melodic. A busy Crowded House style bridge adds to the impact.
One & Only Girl is dealt with above and as a beach sound it’s very effective; My Sweet Butterfly uses a syncopated tempo and with heavy guitar hanging in the mix. A good song that Culture Club could attempt; Easy To Love You seems to aim at a relaxed Leo Sayer feel and the arpeggio chords work really well for the tune.
Stand Up is a soft piano ballad and reminded me in ambience of the glorious Solitaire, a song that The Searchers have made their own in recent times, check it out. Breathe Again is catchy, with ringing guitar and perfect female backing vocals. Probably my favourite song here as it puts McGoozer’s own style over very well.
Stranger brings in the lonesome Roy Orbison/Chris Isaak amp-tremelo’d electric guitar over light congas and bongos. These production and arrangement touches mean that each song has its own characteristics. That slant didn’t do Rubber Soul any harm, did it? Close Your Eyes rides on a jagged beat and dirty guitars and seems to be a song about regret..we shall ask him!
Lullaby is stealthy and hints at Cuban music, the guitars kept high. Closing track Last Goodbye is peaceful and its strong lyric is sung for maximum punch but with no histrionics.
Overall, this is a very romantic and well-crafted set of songs, sung in a personal but pretty strong manner and with the sonic touches and emphasis ever-changing. Pretty much what an album should be and next time – encouraged by me – maybe some stories in with the emotional material. That would find McGoozer looking inwards AND outwards and develop his already weighty talent and appeal.
Thanks McGoozer and Sam and Hi to the flamingos!
McGoozer’s debut album ‘Songs From The Mirror’ is released on Right Track Records on Friday 15th September 2017.
For artist info and dates, head to http://bit.ly/2vZGDyU