John McKeown: Things Worth Fighting For

~ Monday, 14 September 2009
When I reviewed the first single from this album last month, it was not a pleasant experience, so it is fair to say that I was not overly excited when the album popped through the letter box, but no one was more surprised than me to find that this is actually a pretty good album.

The Nick Drake, John Martyn and Richard Thompson influences are hard to ignore, but it is not a case of plagiarism, more a reinterpretation of English folk with a pop twist. McKeown's style is one of familiarity, he not one for taking risks. On songs like Will You Be Mine and Candy Girl there is a far more pop feel than elsewhere on the album. The single Fade Away is the one track that really just does not work. Bland, plodding and lyrically inept.

There are a couple of real gems on here. For You has hints of U2 about it and certainly has single written all over it. The title track opens with African sounding chants and the African feel continues in the guitar sound and repetitive percussion. Excellent stuff.

This is an album for lazy Saturday afternoons or for chilling to in your local fair trade coffee house and has been a pleasant surprise and actually feels like somewhat of an old friend. It's a funny old world.

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