"Thoughts" by Paul MccormackReview
Although I have written about singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Paul Mccormack in the magazine before (in the context of a Merrymaker live review), this is the first time I've been able to write about a solo release, namely "Thoughts" which is an entirely self created song (the first of many he intends sharing with us) and which you can access via: https://soundcloud.com/user-511434765/macca-track-master-print-pt
Though coming to it within hours of its public emergence, I still find myself some way down the line of enthusiastic responders online: it has already created quite a stir, not least with other artists, which is always a good sign of genuine quality & originality.
My expectations of the song were already very high before I heard it, given the comments of others & my previous experience of Paul's talents: in normal circumstances this of course is far from a problem, though in a reviewer maybe it can lead to self fulfilling observations? At any rate I have tried to be objective in rating "Thoughts" as it probably exceeded even such high initial predictions. It really is a classy piece of work (one might expect no less) but where it really scores in my opinion is the grace & ease with how he pulls off the composition & delivery of such an excellent song. Paul makes it sound much simpler than closer examination reveals it to be & you can't help but think after only a couple of plays that you've known it for a long time. Now that's a difficult trick to pull off.
The seemingly effortless approach allows him to use a very accessible & engaging vocal performance which acts as much as the breezy arrangement & melody to draw you into the song.
The lyrics are again finely balanced: thoughtful & articulate yet with the outward common touch: everyone can understand what he's talking about (there is no exclusion here) yet in such a fresh enough way that you don't just feel it's a set of sentiments you've heard too many times previously.
The arrangement and production are admirably clear (it sounds mostly like a single acoustic guitar although there are moments when I wondered if I'd heard extra overdubs) and the style, while generally "British" has occasional nuances from farther afield: I kept on sensing odd moments of Neil Young intruding into changes & melody… and that is certainly intended as a compliment.
As a debut of a series of original tracks, this is a very compelling calling card, showcasing not merely accomplishment in composition & performance but crucially taste too. I look forwards to hearing more….