Saturday, February 19, 2011

Joe McGrady - The Road To Nowhere EP

Hear The Track Here

Despite my views on sites like Myspace, there is no doubt that it is a good tool for a serious musician to invest in. Where else, for example, could you count Eric Clapton, Fallout Boy and Coldplay (among others) as friends? Well, kinda/sorta friends anyway. So Gilmore, ya nosy bastard, I hear you mutter, friends of who? Joe McGrady is who, an acoustic guitarist and songwriter, from Ireland who was kind enough to send me his latest EP. Now, it's great having friends like that, but ultimately - of course - the likelihood of those people actually hearing your tracks has to be slim but hey every little counts innit? Actually, his work is not all acoustic, there's some rock in there too but this is an EP that really requires a lot of playing to tease out all the little touches Joe McGrady brings to this party. Having grown up knowing a great many Irish musicians of all stripes, I have tremendous respect for their talent, drive and passion and am probably heavily biased because of that, but do I look like I care? (Ed: no, you look as stupid as usual).

The Road To Nowhere is a five track EP which stretches over some interesting musical territory and, to my surprise, it is surprisingly low key. Mind you, considering the lyrical content (lurve and romance) that should be no surprise. After some considerable exposure to the tracks, it is blindingly obvious that this is home produced, but pretty good for all that. I think only pinheads, audio geeks and nitpickers like me would notice anyway. Joe has, as I said, a laid back, folksy vocal delivery that sustains the pop sensibility of the music, although I dare say his style might be something you'd learn to love. For my part, I think its a great thing to hear a singer who manages to actually make the lyrics intelligible, saving the listener much less 'eh?' time. It actually makes the tracks come across better too, isn't that a thing to savour. Tell you what, if you like the softer side of music Don't Think Of Me is the one you are going to have to sidle up to, as cool as you like.

Where Don't Think Of Me is pretty much a piano ballad, Love Sick shows off some pop rock roots. While the treatment is OK, there is a plodding quality to the track and I'm not sure where that is coming from, the track or the vocal. I wouldn't think it would make any difference to ordinary mortals but to us review gods (Ed: did you take your meds today?) it is noticeable. Doesn't stop it being a good song either. For my money, the real highlight of the EP is track three, To Be Loved. Finger-picked guitar, effective use of strings/keys, and the most confident vocal performance of the whole EP really make it stand out for me, and I really, really don't like usually like this kind of song. It think it's simple, spare delivery is wot saved it, guv. It's Time To Leave was pretty much my second choice because of it's quality as a song, and again the simple delivery, although not without it's flaws. All in all, The Road To Nowhere is very decent considering its genesis and Joe should be feeling some pride at least. Moreover, this is definitely going to help him pull women... (Ed: oh, tasteful Gilmore, tasteful)

Recommended Acoustic Pop from Ireland.

1 comment:

Joe McGrady said...

Thanks for the review, I really appreciate it.