Review : Amy MacDonald - Life In A Beautiful Light
BBCClichés abound, with talk of a house of cards, of giving up the ghost. Human Spirit’s sentiments are in the right place – whatever the ills humanity subjects itself to, something deeper and meaningful prevails – but its articulation is awkward, the song cloying before its two minutes are up.
Highlights do present themselves. Slow It Down skips along at a merry pace, kicking up dust enough for it to suit a band like The Killers. It also finds Macdonald pushing herself vocally, stretching while elsewhere she remains within an unmoving comfort zone.
The Days of Being Young and Free will appeal to fans of The Band Perry and their pop-country cousins, and the title track gusts with no little power or poise. But these are small victories on a set that, mostly, leaves an objective listener puzzled as to Macdonald’s commercial triumphs.
One wonders if Macdonald’s songs wouldn’t be better served by more charismatic vocalists, as while there’s nothing wrong with this set’s blueprints, the build quality sees it slip into indifference....full text
Music OMHYou may have forgotten about Amy Macdonald. Yet while Adele is out there conquering most of the modern world, the unassuming young Scottish singer has been knocking up almost as impressive sales figures in Europe, especially in Germany.
That may come as a surprise to those of us who remember the shy teenager singing songs about the break-up of The Libertines or dreaming of becoming of a pop star. Her third album has a suitably bigger, more confident sound, but it's arguable that somewhere along the way, some of the charm's been lost.
Life In A Beautiful Light will no doubt continue the Amy Macdonald success story, and despite some bland detours into the middle of the road, there are still enough good moments here to remind of her talent. If she can ditch her, albeit understandable, tendency to play it too safe at times, she may yet find herself creating a really special record....full text
ExpressNOT even 25 and Scottish prodigy Amy Macdonald is already having to shift things around in her house to find room for her awards.
This new album shows just what a sophisticated artist she is with songs that are complex musically and lyrically and sung with a power that belies her youth.
As far as sound goes she’s not a million miles from Irish bands such as The Corrs or The Cranberries but it’s younger, fresher without losing appeal to a slightly older listener.
A singer who works across two if not three generations....full text
The UpcomingFollowing the staggering success of 2007 abum This Is The Life, Amy Macdonald had only two avenues to explore: appease the masses and smooth out her eclectic edges, or sharpen them to more impressive extremes. Life In A Beautiful Light achieves both. It is a strong return from Macdonald, interweaving her distinctive voice with splashing cymbals and burbling electronica, but still intermittently flirting with folky affectations. It veers more wildly from the typical light-hearted nature of Macdonald’s earlier records.
Delicate vocal melodies weave around finger-picked guitars. Two Worlds brings the 13-track album to a close. With thoughtful lyrics teamed with tales of snatched moments, it proves to be a dramatic and skilful ending to a sometimes sweeping yet sometimes angular album....full text
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