I recently listened to the title track of this album, ‘Song From The Mirror’, and I can safely say I was hooked. If you read my previous blog post about the single release (link here), you’ll understand. Just sometimes, you hear a song, a vocal, that catches you off guard. It hits your senses and just touches you. Well, I can say with total justification that the whole album did just that too. McGoozer was kind enough to send me a Soundcloud preview link to listen to before the album release and I could not stop playing it. The album is now out there for all of you on iTunes and other outlets.
As a fellow singer/songwriter, I get how hard it is to get that lyric right, that arrangement exactly how you want it. It’s tough. This album sums up how hard work and dedication pays off. It also takes you on that emotional journey that an album should. I was an eighties kid and vinyl albums were my thing, but more importantly, that particular decade gave us some great music and McGoozer gives me that warm, comfortable, eighties feeling I used to have when I bought a new album and had to play it over and over (much to my parents disapproval…LOL).
So here’s that album review I promised……song by song.
Song From The Mirror
(As per my initial review of the song in my previous blog – link here). The first thing that caught me about this song was the delicious little guitar riff that opens the track, combined with a nice little rocky drum beat. Then the vocals. What can I say? Melodic, gentle, clean and pure. I was hooked and I knew this was a SONG. Not just a song, but a SONG. A good friend of mine (and McGoozer’s) is a rather tall chap called Tim Fraser. He told me once that if a song is a good song, it can be covered any number of times, in any style, and still sound good. This is one of those songs and with the addition of McGoo’s clean vocals of light and shade providing us with delicious ear candy, and with some damn talented musicians in the McGoozer band, you just can’t ask for a nicer sound. The song builds and builds as a subliminal pop rock track with rocky slide guitars, tight drums and a decisive bass line that keeps that back-line rhythm tidy. It even has a traditional vocal middle eight that lifts the song up and down in a melodic surfing wave that ties in beautifully with the subtle addition of keyboards in the mix as well.
Falling Out Of Love
With its tight bass line and funky 80’s guitars, this one has a bit of the Nik Kershaw about it. It has some lovely orchestration hiding in there, with a lovely range of vocals delivered by McGoozer. Outstanding points for me were the atmospheric drop before each chorus with some rocking keyboards!
Walk Run Fly
I really love the lyrics to this song. Uplifting. It has a nice moody opening guitar with a great orchestration arrangement once again. Plus, I am loving the drum fills on this, combined with some superb lead and backing vocals here. I am loving those delicious keys towards end of the track too!
One And Only Girl
I am just LOVING the ukulele on this! Such a great uplifting happy love song. This brings back some old memories of hot days in Florida driving along freeways with the windows down. There is some lovely use of brass and a xylophone in there as well. Not sure if I heard a triangle but who knows (wink)? As usual, McGoozer delivers some sublime vocals here too. One of those songs that reminds you of happy days in the sun.
My Sweet Butterfly
There is a palpable eighties feel to the guitars and vocals on this great track. There’s that, combined with the great Bond-style orchestration and production with a great range being displayed by McGoozer on lead vocals. The bassline and drums keep this song tidy and clean too with some nice work on the backline. The backing vocals are absolutely sublime, adding even more to the Bond theme orchestration. Check out the lovely jangly acoustic on that middle eight too!
Easy To Love You
This is such a beautiful flowing love song with my favourite, jangly acoustics and lead guitar. A great soulful vocal is provided by McGoozer, with some really heartfelt lyrics. As a songwriter, these are often the hardest lyrics to write as you put your heart on your sleeve to the world. Overall, a great rocky love ballad. Love it!
The gorgeously soft piano accompanying McGoozers soulful voice on the opening of this track gives it a lovely soft focus feel as the song builds with soft bass, drums and guitars. Moody, soulful with a bit of rockiness. There are some really lovely lyrics in here with deep meaning and combined with the plush, soft strings in there too, the song is lifted and delivered beautifully.
Uplifting, inspirational…need I say more? The lyrics say it all. Breathing again after being through it. We’ve all been there, right? The flowing guitars and orchestration with the trademark tight bass and drums keep the song tidy. The lead vocal from McGoozer is soulful, from the heart, and just lifts you. A great song, great lyrics, great arrangement. Nice!
As the song opens, there’s some beautifully played soft guitar and keys, allowing McGoozer to open the song with a complimenting soft, gentle vocal. The song then opens in to a bouncy, rocky track with some great McGoozer vocals and lyrics. Again, McGoozer catches the heartstrings with this one. Imagine the soft-focus music video with the couple in love. It all works. Again, that great bass and drum backline holds it all together with some divine female backing vocals kicking in too. Great love song material.
Close Your Eyes
As this song kicked in through the K-Roks in my studio, it just HAD to be turned up! There’s an almost Hispanic flamenco Shakira feel going on here as the song opens in to a great rock track with some sublime strings and vocals. This is one of those goosebumps tracks for me with keys and orchestration that simply ROCK. The driving bass line with great drum fills gets it really up there. It just crys out to be played LOUD. Check out the lead guitar which has some great moments in here. It’s a really driven song with some incredible backing vocals in there too!
Have you ever been in love? This one really gets it. It has such a lovely moody intro. Wow. There’s the trademark soulful lead vocal from McGoozer and a TOTAL mood change from the ‘Close Your Eyes’ song before it. Keep that track order and don’t shuffle! It takes you on a nice emotional rollercoaster if you don’t shuffle! The two tracks are great goosebumps material with the lead guitar on being so soulful and it matches the emotion on McGoozers heartfelt vocals, making for a great track.
There’s some pure clean guitar work here and McGoozer vocals kicking out some really heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics. Again, the clean bass and drums keeps it all in line with some great six-string accompaniment too. McGoozer’s vocals never fail to please and with such a lovely range of light and dark, it amounts to a wonderful song with such great bittersweet lyrics.
I can safely say that this will be a regularly played album here at home in the studio as I work. A lot of my day job work involves sitting at a keyboard writing and the headphones are often on, to give me musical accompaniment as I sit there typing away, to hit client deadlines. McGoozer makes the day go by a little more smoothly with this one, and as a fellow muso, I can safely say, fair play, this one rocks.
Nice work, McGoozer!