Sunday, January 9, 2011

Review: Eric McGrath - My Demo

The first line of the first song on Eric McGrath's 'My Demo' is "I hope not to offend" and he does just that, he does not offend but he does not inspire either. McGrath presents a collection of skiffle and barbershop style songs with elements of Nick Drake, and Je N'nen Connais Pas Le Fin.

He has the classic trained sounding voice technically proficient capable of making pleasant multi part harmonies, but struggles with emotion, intensity and believability, often overselling the song. On the other hand his classical finger picking guitar is proficient and his lyrics offer moments of brilliance. While the classical elements and piano parts are excellent throughout.

However, the stars have aligned on standout tracks Ripples and Waves and Before You Left as McGrath's performance is just right, especially on the intense Before You Left. The mix of duelling pianos and shimmering white noise are the perfect base for this lonesome barbershop moment, While Ripples and Waves, by contrast, is a breezy mid tempo summer pop song with excellent 60's style harmony parts.

'My Demo' is a mixed bag, it no doubt showcases Eric McGrath's wide ranging abilities, but it also demonstrates that he has overstretched himself.  More time spent on fewer songs would have yielded more comprehensive results. None the less a fine effort 'My Demo' will certainly get Eric McGrath noticed.

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