STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 168838-26548 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Returning to the scene of his 2007 debut release, Glasgow-based singer/songwriter Michael McMillan has once again teamed up with Foundry Music Lab's Graeme Duffin (Wet Wet Wet, Ashton Lane) for an accomplished fourth album that sees the troubadour in fine form. Whilst previous outings have honed in on McMillan's passion for highlighting issues of poverty, this 14 track offering is perhaps a more personal affair with tender stripped-back songs like "My Best Friend" and "You're My Son" showing a vulnerable side to the experienced songwriter. Elsewhere, tracks like "Miracles" and "Tell Her" are further examples of McMillan's ability to sagely and gently offer up advice through song whilst the likes of "No Heavy Load" bring the underpinning theme of salvation through Jesus into sharper focus. Producer Duffin keeps things nice and simple instrumentally to ensure that McMillan's straightforward and effective acoustic guitar playing and temperate vocal delivery are given space to breathe and, whilst the addition of a few more instruments here and there would have added variety to the overall sound, this approach means that the latest album stays consistent to the style of his other releases. McMillan's standing as a songwriter who packs a social and lyrical punch is highlighted in the sublime country song "Scars And Stripes" which sees the songsmith tell it to America in no uncertain terms about its failings in the areas of poverty and homelessness - cleverly delivered in the country in question's default musical style and without a word wasted.
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