Mon 30 Apr 2012
Liam O'Connell - Writing In The Dark EP Review
I like it. It’s interesting enough without being an entirely taxing to listen to. His grating, off the wall and often overly embellished vocals just make me pay more attention to what he is actually saying, a clever trick and one that pays off mostly because of his knack for clever phrases and rhythm. The more I listen the more I seem to get a feeling these songs were very carefully thought through, that every single part of the song, from lyrics to production to style, were all pieced together carefully to enforce and enhance the theme of the song, creating a single and purposeful feeling at the end of each track, an after taste primarily for the emotions. This is of course a positive for someone with an open mind and appreciation for music as a higher form of art, but may not be the cup of tea for someone searching for their next hooky happy chorus to hum along to as they go for their gym workout.
The opening song is the only off kilter aspect of this for me. An instrumental track, and especially compared to the other four songs, ‘Yahim’ feels unfinished, lacking the other necessary components to fully colour and project the full meaning and feeling. It draws sharp attention to the technical aspect of his playing, which is great by the way, but at the same time, is prime evidence for the lack of flair, spirit and fire that would have made this EP great instead of good. My only wish would have been to be really assaulted and emotionally captured by the extremes of the feelings O’Connell pulls out of me, emphasised everything a little bit more, proven that an acoustic guitar and voice can do more than make old ladies watching chick flicks cry, or impress that girl at your hall with a romantic cover of her favourite song.
This EP is challenging in a casual way. It’s extremely interesting, and what more would expect from a man writing songs in the dark, seemingly on a knife edge.