With a clear commitment to quality on all fronts, Dennis McCalmont’s latest offering, the potentially-ironically titled The Joys of Modern Life is one of the most intimately personal albums I’ve heard in quite some time. McCalmont’s voice is impeccable throughout, and a fine bunch of melodic songs are fleshed out with a consistent contemporary rock/funk sound from his band of inventive musicians. And it’s an all-Irish affair. (Radio stations, please take note).
‘Best Days of My Life’ and ‘Suffocate’ have a very upful, no-nonsense driving sound underpinning some reflective lyrics about life and mis/trust.
‘Pure’ and ‘’Leave’ both ease off the throttle, allowing full space for McCalmont’s soulful vocal and knock-out lyrics. Nature of Life’ has an anthemic intro to kick-start a sturdy funk work-out, and there’s some more heartfelt funk in ‘Something She Said’.
There’s an optimistic knees-up jollity to ‘If You See My Girl’, all about lost love, but there’s a brooding quality to ‘Wasted’ that brings you back to the track time and time again. ‘Fall’ reveals a more reflective side of McCalmont’s worldview. It’s quiet philosophical in its intent and a fine song to boot.
‘Time For Truth’ is a hefty slice of solid rock with an uplifting positivity, and while ‘When The World Goes Crazy’ is slightly more laid back, it enables The Joys of Modern Life to end on an uncertain but ultimately hopeful note. Just like life?
Jackie Hayden (Hot Press)
released July 14, 2016
Dennis McCalmont: Vocals Acoustic/Electric Guitars & Keys
Michael Buckton: Electric Lead Guitar
Craig Donaldson: Bass
Donal Hoban: Drums
Additional Music by
John Flatley Piano
Tony Bambrick Guitar
Mastered by Ciaran Byrne at www.cauldronstudios.com
Artwork & CD Duplication by Ronan Courell
Front Cover Photography by Kate McKeon
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