Eugene McGuinness – The Invitation to the Voyage
From quirky, well-regarded debut to playing guitar in musical shrug Miles Kane’s backing band in just four short years: Eugene McGuinness hasn’t exactly been firing on all cylinders lately. But now he’s back, with slick quiff and slicker production, re-cast in a plastic soul mould and vying for a piece of the 80s-pop revival action. “I’m going for the jugular,” he explains on opener Harlequinade, and his methodology is not to be trifled with: stuffed with synths and trumpets and gloss, it’s a bold and brash vanguard for an album with definite promise.
But elsewhere it’s lazy: Japanese Cars is purposeless pastiche; Shotgun samples Peter Gunn to irritating effect; while the lyrics of Sugarplum are liable to set eyes-a-rolling, particularly when followed by the comparatively imaginative imagery of lead single Lion. Bright points like that make it difficult to write Invitation to the Voyage off completely, but celebrating it proves more difficult still.