Mayone has been a singer songwriter for over 20 years. From the evidence on Long Play Record he’s still trying to find his voice musically and lyrically. This rather washed over me and felt a bit like a vanity project.
Vocally it’s weak, lyrically it’s jaded and unimaginative. The imagery is clichéd and at times the voice struggles. It sounds like a compilation of demos. This might be the job of the producer or engineer, oh sorry, Steve Mayone is the producer too.
The Beach Boys backing vocals and arrangements and the Lennonesque echo can’t disguise how self indulgent this is. Island In The Sun – the one where he tries do a Lennon is tired sounding. Poor Heart improves but not too much. Mayone doesn’t know what he wants to be or sound like. On High Lonesome he tries his best Tom Waits, it’s folksy and country but sadly he thinks it’s a lot better than it really it is. That’s why it’s good to have an impartial voice behind the recording desk. It’s bland and the cliché police should’ve been called in by track eight Secret Garden.
A Little Rain with it’s lap steel, decent arrangement and brass section gets close to Van Morrison but sadly is too short in length. This might be a minor hit or decent B side if stretched out and given to someone like Take That. There’s generally a reason why a songwriter is still relatively unknown after twenty years and that’s generally down to a few things, bad luck, bad taste or lack of talent. Plus points? At least he’s still trying and doing his own thing and hopefully his luck will change.
Review by Charlie Brown