Saturday, March 25, 2006

Martin Gallagher - Hypocrite

Hear The Track Here

I first came across this contemporary acoustic artist when I reviewed his excellent By Your Side (December 2005), a track to commemorate his father. A track every bit as touching as it sounds and also one of the sweetest acoustic tracks I have heard in a good while - and it's a ballad. What surprised was the quality on display on this track, instrumentally and vocally Martin Gallagher knows how to deliver a song with honesty, passion and considerable skill. Admittedly the subject matter helped to make the track for me because there were some slight flaws in the track but what can you expect from one man and his geeetar...? Nonetheless, the track still pulled at the right strings and that is what really counts in my books.

You will notice that Hypocrite has a Parental Advisory and that is because there are several swearwords - after all it's about people f****** with you right? To my ears, this doesn't come with the impact that By My Side did. Although the sound is bigger, with more going on; it's all a bit formal for me. I don't know, maybe a drum track in there would have made it happen more. I can certainly see where Martin intended to go with this track and in some respects he's done that very well. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the punch it should and the glaringly missing link is the right back line (drums n bass mon...). The arrangement is fine and should in fact work, provided it was pinned down within a more structured framework.

I'm not sure I'm that happy about the vocal on this track either. Again, it works really well when it's happening but there are several sections when I feel the vocal slightly misses the mark. As a seasoned 'home recording' producer I am only too well aware of how difficult it is too inject passion and authority into a lyric when you can't sing too loud because of your Mum in the next room. Or something similar, anyway. The vocal has that tentative feel about it and in the 'I got it wrong' refrain I think the reverb was very noticeable. After a veritable shopping list of niggles and gripes it may surprise you to know that I do like this track, there are a lot of things right with it too. The backing vocals are very cool, and what they are doing is just wonderful. Some of the added instrumentation was also excellent. When all is said and done though, the song again wins out, despite my moaning and groaning. Hypocrite is an excellent song, although it is IMHO a work in progress...

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