Irish Internet Radio and TV from Dublin, Ireland.
The Paul McKenna Band has a brand new tasty treat out on Compass and it is called Elements. Sensational. Four stars! The Paul McKenna Band is from Scotland and is a quartet consisting of Paul, David McNee, Sean Gray, and Ewan Baird. It is a gem, and there are two problems here. Well, maybe three. My complaint with the McKenna band for the last couple of years is that there is an awful lot of Paul McKenna, and not enough Band. This is not to be taken lightly. Paul McKenna is one of the best singers around, but his band is one of the best bands around---and we don’t get enough of them. On this album, there’s only one instrumental of the ten tunes, and there should be four or five. This band is really terrific and you can hear it in every cut, but they need a bigger stage. Better focised so that you can hear them by themselves. Now remember, we lovelovelove Paul McKenna’s singing. But we also lovelovelove the band. Secondly, this album is truly hard to define, and I not sure that’s a good thing. I used to think that was a good thing, but I’m just not sure anymore. The acoustic market is overrun with groups that have a certain thrust or focus to their music. Some of it is great, and some of it is not---to say the least. As great as the Paul McKenna Band is, this album accelerates the artist’s pattern of being highly eclectic and undefined in its songs. If you love the band, this variety is a key to your enjoyment. If you are just coming to these artists, this album can be very hard to get your arms around logically or emotionally. There does not seem to be a center to all this, with the exception of Paul McKenna himself, and we want more. Thirdly, there is no need to buy this CD in person, none at all. You are better to go online and buy it from iTunes or Amazon. There are no notes, descriptions, artists’ profiles, or musical information of any kind. Just a very basic album that looks as if it were printed with very little or no attention given to anything other than physically holding the CD itself. Big mistake. The whole trend in CDs lately is that they contain wonderful information about the music, the history, and other background information about the groups and tunes. Not here. The whole physical package is lacking and gives none of us any reason to pay additional money for a CD as opposed to ordering it online. I realize this all sounds pretty negative. Remember, it is not. This is a great album, but it is undirected, there is too much Paul, and not worth the extra money for the CD—order it online, for God’s sakes. But, DO get it. You will love it.
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