|Clare Maguire||Stranger Things Have Happened|
Clare Maguire — Stranger Things Have Happened •Ξ• Po zralé úvaze, Clare Maguire dokazuje, že hudební styly minulosti můžou být relevantní i v dnešní kultuře. “Stranger Things Have Happened” je 12~dílné vyprávění o okouzlujícím písničkářství a vrací britskou zpěvačku ~ skladatelku zpět do přítomnosti: skvělá audience. Phenomenal Talent. After nearly losing her life to alcohol, the UK songstress returns with a new LP that tackles addiction, heartbreak, and life in the wake of losing everything.Born: September 15, 1987 in Birmingham, England
Location: Birmingham ~ London, UK
Album release: 27th May 2016
Genre: Alternative pop, jazz, blues, soul
Record Label: Virgin Records
01 Faded 3:35
02 Here I Am 3:11
03 Elizabeth Taylor 4:28
04 Swimming 3:23
05 Stranger Things Have Happened 5:23
06 Whenever You Want It 3:57
07 The Valley 3:45
08 Hanging in the Stars 3:34
09 Falling Leaves 3:06
10 Changing Faces 3:20
11 Spaceman 3:55
12 Leave You in Yesterday 3:34
•Ξ• Maguire, Sam Beste, Blue May 1, 5, 6, 10
•Ξ• Maguire, Tom Wright~Goss 2, 4, 8
•Ξ• Maguire, Lincoln Barrett 3
•Ξ• Maguire, James Norton, Timucin Aluo 7
•Ξ• Maguire 9
•Ξ• Maguire, May 11
•Ξ• Maguire, Beste 12
•Ξ• UK Albums Chart #85
•Ξ• Producer: Clare MaguireReview
ISAKU TAKAHASHI, Score: ****
•Ξ• Clare Maguire’s new album Stranger Things Have Happened fills the air with an elegant, retro ambience. After the disappointment of her first record and a bleak period of rehab, the British singer~songwriter returns with a statement of intent: an album of expressive panache and flowing with deep, personal thoughts.
•Ξ• The album features plenty of numbers inspired by tear~laden stories and emotions. Elizabeth Taylor seeps a languid Adele~like beauty, with resonant piano harmonies and rich string sonorities pulling at the listener’s heartstrings. In contrast to the bold melodies of Elizabeth Taylor, Maguire showcases her delicate vocals in closing track Leave You In Yesterday, echoing the smooth, feathery tones of Sharleen Spiteri and Lana Del Rey.
•Ξ• Swimming trickles harmonies and instrumental colours that mutter retro pop from start to finish. Maguire makes her mark on it’s haunting vibe with her ghostly yet full~bodied vocals, alongside the jangling sonic backdrop. Meanwhile, title track Stranger Things Have Happened is an even more brooding and atmospheric affair. The song wanders through an exotic, cinematic journey, soaking the senses in opulent strings, jittery tremolo effects, gently knocking drums, metallic guitar timbres and gleaming glissandos that sit between the sounds of a harp and piano strings.
•Ξ• If the album has already ventured into various sound worlds, then tracks like Hanging In The Stars and Falling Leaves transport listeners out into a musical universe like no other. Hanging In The Stars sounds more like it came from home as it swims through a tranquil folk guitar ballad enriched with icy piano tones and sleek strings, while Falling Leaves transcends the musical stratosphere and travels to an otherworldly space with reverb~laden vocals and deep piano chords.
•Ξ• On reflection, Clare Maguire proves that musical styles of the past can still be relevant in today’s culture. Stranger Things Have Happened is a 12~part narrative of enchanting songwriting, and places the British singer~songwriter back in the presence of audiences. •Ξ• :: http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/Review
•Ξ• After Maguire’s debut, 2011’s Light After Dark, failed to be as commercially successful as hoped, and was met by mixed reviews from the critics, Maguire fell into a pattern of heavy drinking which took a great toll on her health. Maguire received treatment for her alcoholism in 2012 and, after a stint in rehab, took some timeout from the music business and slowly returned to song~writing in 2013, releasing music in a trickle online before releasing a couple of EPs.
•Ξ• Stranger Things Have Happened is the culmination of Maguire’s process of fully returning to music, and ensuring that she is in the driving seat of her career. For the tumultuous circumstances leading to its creation, Stranger Things Have Happened is a surprisingly composed and restrained album.
•Ξ• Perhaps too restrained, as the album lacks a defining character, which is ideal for people seeking sonic wallpaper, but for anyone seeking a frisson it is sadly lacking. There is notable noise on album opener, Faded, and later on Hanging in the Stars, which would be forgivable if the entire record had a lo~fi/demo feel but, as is, it detracts from the variable quality of the musical components. The electronic beat of Swimming sits at odds with the piano, guitar, and vocal focus of the other songs.
•Ξ• Aside from Maguire’s versatile, if patchy vocals, the music of Stranger Things Have Happened is arranged around piano and/or guitar parts, and it is because of this that the inconsistent qualities of the compositions get thrown into sharp relief; stronger compositions sit alongside weaker one, or compelling musical phrases are counterpointed by clichéd riffs within the one song. Titular song, Stranger Things Have Happened, features a grating, limply strummed, autoharp, which matches the high and hollow vocal delivery, and a string section is dragooned into the mix in an attempt to add gravitas. The Valley — which is strongly reminiscent of Feist’s 1234 — features one of the strongest vocal performances of the album, yet the production process hasn’t adequately captured them.
•Ξ• Lead single, Elizabeth Taylor, isn’t the strongest song on the album, nor is it the weakest, so it serves as an appropriate overview of Stranger Things Have Happened, in that it is alright and not too bad; it has its good bits (the piano part) and its bad (the average vocals); it’s easy to listen too, but not too exciting. Maguire obviously felt burned by the experience of her previous album and the methods of its production, but it is difficult not to feel that she has swung too far the other way with Stranger Things Have Happened, and that there is a happy medium between that would have resulted in a record that she, as an artist, could be proud of and that would be more than an average listening experience.Artist Biography by Jon O’Brien
•Ξ• Stranger Things Have Happened With her gutsy, haunting vocals and dark, brooding, and atmospheric alternative dance sound, singer/songwriter Clare Maguire has been favorably compared to the likes of Portishead’s Beth Gibbons and Kosheen’s Sian Evans. Born in Birmingham in 1988, the former shop assistant wrote her first song at age seven, and after building up a loyal following through her MySpace page, she sparked a major~label bidding war involving Jay~Z before signing to Polydor Records in 2009. Influenced by Howlin’ Wolf and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, she recorded her debut album with Mark Ronson, turning down tracks offered to her by Plan B and Jarvis Cocker in the process. After supporting Hurts on their U.K. tour and winning a Q Award for Next Big Thing, she released her debut single, “Ain’t Nobody,” in 2010, with her first album, Light After Dark, following in early 2011. The album recieved mixed reviews, however, and was generally viewed as a disappointing debut considering her obvious vocal talent. The second and most successful single from the record, entitled “The Last Dance,” managed to climb to number 23 on the UK singles chart, but overall the album’s relative failure triggered something of a downward spiral with Maguire. A stint in rehab was required to curb her alcoholism, and her contract with Universal was cut short. After straightening herself out and developing a pared~down writing set~up in her Battersea flat based only around her voice and piano, her follow~up album Stranger Things Have Happened was released in spring 2016.
Interview: Andrea Domanick, May 31 2016, 7:17pm
:: https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/clare-maguire-stranger-things-have-happened-interview-2016 © Clare Maguire. Photo credit: Justin Staple
|Clare Maguire||Stranger Things Have Happened|
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