Eugene McGuinness - Chroma

by Rob Taylor Rating:6 Release Date:2014-07-07

On the evidence available, McGuiness is undoubtedly a very accomplished pop craftsman. To have heard Invitation to the Voyage, and the follow up Chroma, and to say less, would be churlish. After dislodging my index finger from my larynx, I found myself admitting that much.

Give Chroma a few spins, and you may be lured by its charms. Me, I'm still feeling a little unwell. Chroma has all the elements required for major success: taut songwriting; great hooks; professional rhythm section; a voice which croons and smoothly oscillates without missing a breath; a gift for arrangement; and not a moment wasted.

What Chroma lacks ultimately is the sincere impetuousness of youth. It sounds too mature, like something Nick Lowe might have recorded in middle age. No interesting instrumental solos; unexpected changes of tone; emotional variability; not even an occasional sneer or broadside. This chrome has its attraction, but as so often happens, polish and lustre doesn't equate with sex appeal.

Keep an eye on the mainstream media for overheated hyperbole. The champagne corks will be popping over at Domino to be sure, but Chroma is too exquisite. Modulated and arranged for easy digestion, like musical degustation.

The circumspect McGuiness would have you believe that the recording of Chroma was spontaneous and unfussy. I read that somewhere. If you believe that, you've been duped. The chart surveying spin doctors have played their part in this conspiracy. 

It'll probably sell by the bucket loads.

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