Review : Eugene Mcguinness - Eugene Mcguinness
AllmusicPrecocious Brit Eugene McGuinness built on the frantic pop promise of his 2007 debut with his eponymous sophomore effort by upping the infectious melodies, expanding his breathtaking Ray Davies/Morrissey vocabulary, and pushing the second-wave Brit-pop sensibilities of bands like the Libertines and the Arctic Monkeys into a whole new realm of sonic possibility. Possessed of a voice that can seemingly cradle every note like a newborn, McGuinness peppers each of the 12 songs that make up his second effort with enough ideas to spark a string of albums. Like his closest contemporaries Johnny Flynn, Patrick Wolf, Beirut, and White Rabbits, his efforts are both exceedingly clever and distinctly genre-bending, whether he's playing the snarky straight-ahead power pop provocateur ("Fonz," "Rings Around Rosa," and "Nightshift") or the wistful orchestral balladeer ("Those Old Black and White Movies Were True" and "Knock Down Ginger"). Like most musical artisans, McGuinness' two- to four-minute slabs of overachiever indie rock require more than a casual listen to sink in, though once they do, they stick like a pair of famous hands in cement. Singular pop craftsmen (and women) who can successfully tow the line between commercially viable and artistically sovereign are few and far between in the 21st century, which makes the arrival of Eugene McGuinness a true cause for celebration....full text
Drownedinsound.Liverpool is a city you cannot talk, or even think, about without a group of shaggy haired, Chelsea booted 60’s scallywags springing to mind. The shadow of The Beatles hangs heavy in the Mersey, with every street corner revealing another themed bar or plaque to commemorate a member’s birth place. Around the corner from one of John Lennon’s many supposed dwellings is an educational set-up funded by another Beatle called LIPA. Until recently, despite a good reputation, the mainstream conscious had not been permeated by a LIPA graduate. Then, earlier this year, a group of wacky ts calling themselves The Wombats smashed ceilings and ear drums with their raucous power pop urging listeners to dance to Joy Division and something about Bridget Jones. During this period of success, fellow LIPA alumni *Eugene McGuiness was quietly crafting one of the most remarkable and intimate albums of the year....full text
MusicomhOf all the images Londoner Eugene McGuinness could have chosen for the cover of his debut full-length album, 'mildly bemused fencer' was probably not high on many people's lists.
It's an image, however, that's simultaneously archaic and modern, the history of the noble sport mixed with the clarity of the pure white suit on a clean white background. This conflict is something that permeates the music on McGuinness' full-band follow-up to last years lo-fi mini-album, The Early Learnings of..., mixing elements of The Beatles with Elliott Smith, or the distinct Britishness of The Kinks with early Blur and Pete Doherty.
But McGuinness isn't merely a clever musical magpie and has managed- in the space of just two albums- to carve out a fairly distinct sound that uses elements of what's around but sounds curiously, and brilliantly, out of step. If albums were kids in the classroom then Eugene McGuinness would be sat in the corner thumbing a Victorian novel with an iPod on, generally being ignored but remaining completely fascinating....full text
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