Entries for 'Philip McDonald'
Originally published by Philip McDonald on November 19, 2009
Successful Irish band The Flaws have been in hibernation since their tour for their first album, Achieving Vagueness. This summer, they performed at a number of festivals, and released a single, 'I Don't Wanna Dance'. Now, they're preparing to release their yet-to-be-named second album. Here the ultra-modest Paul Finn, lead singer and guitarist, talks with Cluas.
Your first album was very successful - do you find that expectations for this album are high?
No, not at all, I don't think that anyone would really care if we ever released an album again!
You've been working on your second album - what's it about?
We started just writing songs aimlessly, and then we thought it might be more exciting to give the album a theme. The theme started out being based around the phrase 'peace and quiet', and it changed as the songs developed, into something else, which we're keeping under wraps until the album is a go. It's a very strong album ... [Read on]
Originally published by Philip McDonald on October 20, 2009
A review of the album 'Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons
Review Snapshot: This London folk foursome presented their first album, 'Sigh No More', at the beginning of this month, following in the footsteps of the contemporary Noah and the Whale, and echoing the forlorn vocals of Neil Young. Mumford & Sons' unique brand of indie-folk, with edgy lyrics and widely varied music, will not be everyone's favourite, but for the more eclectic, this is an absolutely brilliant debut from a promising band.
The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10
I readily confess that I’m not a huge fan of folk music. I’ve never really considered the banjo as a serious instrument, and had someone asked me what I thought of the genre, I would have raised an eyebrow and said that I wasn’t that into it. I was surprised, then, by this album, which I immediately liked. It mixes traditional-sounding introductions with thunderous climaxes, replete with ro... [Read on]
Originally published by Philip McDonald on October 09, 2009
A review of the album 'Humbug' by Arctic Monkeys
Review Snapshot: The Monkeys have certainly taken a step forward with this album. Unfortunately, they seem to have stepped into a world of random and/or drug induced songwriting, where coherence is frowned upon, and nonsense is king. Musically, the record is quite interesting, and they've honed their sound significantly, avoiding obvious riffs and uniformly aggressive drumming. Overall, it's a solid album for the band, but I think critics exaggerate when they say that it's momentous; it's well produced, it's darker than anything they've done before, but it isn't quite seminal.
The Cluas Verdict? 6.5 out of 10
This album is certainly trying for a dark, grotesque, looming feel, but I don't think they quite achieve that. The first track, 'My Propeller', exhibits Alex Turner's new random/drug induced/'deep' lyrics, introducing the first of many excessively... [Read on]
Originally published by Philip McDonald on September 26, 2009
A review of the album 'Ocean Eyes' by Owl City
Review Snapshot: The third album by the Minnesotan whiz kid Adam Young is a shining example of unashamed synth-pop. From euphoric rhythms to surprisingly clever lyrics, the record is nothing if not uplifting. Unfortunately, the last few tracks descend into tortuous repetition (some of the songs seem to be based on exactly the same chord progressions), and Young's accent can be grating. Nonetheless, this is certainly Owl City's strongest album yet, and it's worth a listen, if only for a pick-me-up.
The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10
Full Review: For those who are already familiar with the first two Owl City albums, released while he was still unsigned, this 2009 release won’t offer you anything new. Four tracks on the album (two mixes of ‘Hello Seattle’, ‘On The Wing’, ‘The Saltwater Room’) are simply rehashed versions of tracks from ‘Of June’ and &... [Read on]