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Eugene McGuinness : The Invitation To The Voyage

For Eugene McGuinness, commercial success has so far proved more elusive than critical acclaim, but the 26 year old Londoner’s second full-length solo effort The Invitation To The Voyage might just be the release to change his fortunes. Whilst still present, here the acerbic wit and clever wordplay that saw reviewers fawn over debut EP The Early Learnings Of… and his eponymous 2008 LP are nudged out of the spotlight in favour of big, muscular tunes the kids will eat up like sugar-coated chicken nuggets and enough sly nods to early-80s New Wave pop to keep old farts like me on our toes. McGuinness’ magpie tendencies mean that many of The Invitation‘s tracks recall (sometimes a little too readily) influences from across the musical spectrum – Arctic Monkeys and Queens Of The Stone Age on the angular “Sugarplum” and rockabilly thrasher “Lion” (below), Rufus Wainwright and Magnetic Fields on “Concrete Moon” and “Joshua” – but on the whole the collection falls into a Squeeze-gone-electro-pop pigeonhole that is very much McGuinness’ own, and with each song offering a different twist (brass and soul diva backing vocals over “Harlequinade”‘s grinding synth-bass line, the appropriation of Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn Theme” for “Shotgun“) the thin line between derivative and daring is navigated with skill and panache. Highlights are the motoring “Videogame”, spectacularly camp mariachi rocker “Thunderbolt” and the throbbing, strutting LCD Soundsystem-covering-“Billie Jean” closer “Japanese Cars”, but The Invitation is impressively filler-free. Those in the know have been tipping McGuinness as a future star for the past five years; looks like his time to shine has finally arrived.

The Invitation To The Voyage is out August 6 on via Domino Recording Co.

About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix. I'm a thirtysomething dad who has written in the past for The Quietus, Resident Advisor and Onethirtybpm. Music has been a huge part of my life for over twenty years, and I still passionately love everything from classic rock and indie pop to hip hop and techno, from Afrobeat and jazz to Krautrock and metal, so I decided to try and spread the word about some of the stuff I hear and like. Hopefully you'll like some of it too, and if you do please bookmark the site (I try to post something most days, even if having a baby girl to look after sometimes makes that impossible) and follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts, and the occasional random brain-fart. Lastly, please share links wherever you can: word of mouth is everything!

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