Okay – so I was as nervous as a Kitten getting ready to review this latest CD that swung its tail my way. The title of the album was a line from ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’; most of the songs looked like they were only two or three minutes long – so I started thinking that maybe this was a late hazing exercise from TFK – to send an album of nursery rhymes to the new reviewer to raise a few laughs and hackles.
But I needn’t have worried – right from the 1st song ‘Heart of Song’ on David McCann’s debut album ‘…and sang to a small guitar’ – what I pleasantly discovered was Literate rich evocative folk rock with simple luscious arrangements of synth, acoustic guitar and strings.
With shades of Neil Hannon’s Divine Comedy in its phrasing and substance I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that David was also a fan of Nick Drake and The Smiths cause his music has that haunting lyrical quality that those two legendary acts made their own. But that’s not to say that he’s specifically sounding like any of the above – he wears his influences well – but very much has his own voice.
There’s an excellent clean recorded quality of just acoustic guitar and voice on ‘the owl and the pussycat’ and this quality holds up for the whole record.
A nice Beatles vibe to ‘don’t let it be’ or maybe I was just thinking of them with the title – good meaty backing vocals adding colour and lovely simple arrangements.
‘Moonshot’ shines from the start with deft acoustic plucking and intelligent descriptive lyrics which is definitely David’s forte and strength.
‘Spark’ sparkles too in the same fashion from the off – this record grows in confidence and composure as it goes along – never loses its simplicity which in turn lets the songs breathe in a nice natural and very accessible way.
And there’s a lot to be said for shorter-length tunes – life’s made very easy for both reviewers and prospective radio-show DJs; and as an artist it makes you simply get the song across and to not be too self-indulgent
The album highlight was the Beautiful ‘Belfast Town’ – a song with a heart; and the gorgeous ‘The times you were not there’ with its fluid poetic language and a melody reminiscent of ‘The Windmills of your Mind’ from the ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ heist movie. Again, the Sparse beauty of just acoustic guitar and voice really having an impact.
And so to the final song : ‘The thing that killed the cat wasn’t curiosity – the thing that killed the cat was getting caught, we all admire the cat less for its ferocity, than for its philosophy, and its purity of thought’
Okay – so David has definitely not written an album of nursery rhymes – this is a lyrically rich and rewarding album for adults – but he’s definitely a lover of cats…and, though a dog person, this reviewer still thoroughly enjoyed his collection of fine tunes.
MT link for David to follow.
Category: CD Reviews