Power Over Me
An Evening I Will Forget – Acoustic
For Island Fires & Family
Young & Free
All My Friends
Listening to Irish singer Dermot Kennedy’s latest album is like eating a cupcake with no icing. While still enjoyable and filling enough, it’s also a little bland and unimaginative, lacking the sweetness needed to help it stand out next to so many other choices. Across 13 tracks we dive into Dermot’s personal life, his loves and losses whilst serenading us with a minimalist blend of instruments and strong vocal work. This works well for the most part but there’s nothing here that initially stands out which is partly the problem with this 12 track album.
As individual songs, Dermot Kennedy is perfectly digestible, with heartfelt lyrics and an impressive vocal range to boot. The album opens with Power Over Me, one of the strongest songs on the album. From here, we twist and turn through a series of minimalist tracks and over-produced songs that blend together a little too well. As personal favourites, Power Over Me, Young & Free and An Evening I Will Not Forget all stand out and jumping back into the album to listen to these tracks works really well. As a straight forward listen from start to finish on an album, not so much.
Toward the midway point, the songs all begins to blur together making the ride an audibly pleasing one but also largely unimaginative too. Boston, A Closeness, Couldn’t Tell and After Rain all suffer this problem, mixing the lack of instruments in the background with Dermot’s voice and lyrics to tell the story. In terms of placement, the album is a little mismanaged and perhaps breaking these tracks up with a slightly different style or tone may have benefited the album as a whole.
Don’t get me wrong, Dermot is a talented vocalist and there’s no denying the man can really sing. His songs are full of really interesting lyrics and a great vocal range of pitches and tempos blended with heartfelt reflection and emotion. It’s also one of those albums that doesn’t really grip you, letting your mind wander off dreamily while you listen to it without hitting you as emotionally as the lyrics would have you believe.
While the album itself is still enjoyable enough as a piece of audibly pleasing folk and pop, Dermot Kennedy’s album slots in nicely next to many other artists covering this same style of music. There’s nothing really here that stands out next to so many other artists and that’s partly the issue with this 12 track album. Still, if you’re a fan of Dermot Kennedy then you’ll love this but for everyone else looking for something a bit more imaginative, you’re unlikely to find it here.