Eugene McGuinness‘ fourth album with Domino Records, ‘The Invitation to the Voyage‘, has been a long time coming, but has finally set sail! The ten track album is full to bursting with witty imagery and enticing 60s beats that are hard to escape, encapsulated by a retro sound hinting at icons such as Frankie Valli.

Usually you’ll find that there will be at least one ‘filler song’ on any album, that you just doesn’t fit with the rest, but there’s nothing of that description on ‘The Invitation to the Voyage’. This album is multi-dimensional mirror, peering at the many traits of Eugene McGuinness’ personality.

‘Sugarplum’ conveys stunning images with its lyrics, such as “we could be painting this town red instead of dwelling in these dungeons of doubt”.The thought put into the wording is evident. This sort of poetry is sorely missed in high-charting albums, which is why we need a revolution musically and gems such as these albums should be getting the air-time to make this happen.

The incredibly ferocious ‘Lion’ has a quick tempo that really tests Eugene’s oratory abilities as the track is bursting with tongue twister lyrics. Full of interesting metaphors, the low tone in his voice creeps up and attacks, an epic battle about to erupt.

‘Videogame‘ has an echoey gospel charm with a pop twist, which makes it the real diamond of the album. Lyrically it’s almost hymn-like: “destiny’s calling, but reception’s so poor” in addition to the hummed undertones which sound like a modern choir, which is almost shiver inducing. There’s a funky cathedral somewhere, just waiting for this to fill its halls.

The very sexy ‘Shotgun‘ fades in and out seductively, the alluring and drifting soul nature of Eugene’s voice invites listeners in as he whispers sweet nothings into a lover’s ear. “It’s time for the showdown” he moans towards the end of the song, a threat that has been carried out with utter expertise.

‘Concrete Moon’ is full of similes and metaphors that paint a beautiful, black and white landscape of London “liquid skies swirl dark and deep”; it’s hopeful and inspiring. The regalia-style drumming is ceremonial, it’s full of pride. A classic British record.

A nice change in direction came in form of the name-sake ‘Invitation To The Voyage‘ a bluesy, classy tune that is more relaxed. There’s less synth, and in this case less is more.

It’s a rarity, but ‘Joshua’ possesses a big-band feel, it is upbeat and swings like the sound of Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra and the days of the Copacabana Club. It’s a wonderful example of the reaches that Eugene’s voice can go to, the notes he can hold when he usually goes for being understated.

All in all, ‘Invitation To The Voyage’ is a blinding success, well worth the wait. The way McGuinness has dug into nostalgic obscurity and crafted a modern masterpiece is in a word: commendable. Expect a rise in popularity shortly!


About The Author

Ellen Capel

Writer and PR & Marketing at Hooting and Howling. 17, Media, English Language and Photography Student. Sheffield.Addicted to live music. Favourites include: The Smiths, Arctic Monkeys, Paloma Faith, Florence + the Machine, Miles Kane, The Libertines, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Oasis. (@ellecaps)