Bill McGarvey - Tell Your Mother
This was the first disc to drop through the door in 2003, and it's so impressive it's a cast iron certainty that it will make our 'best of' end of year list.
Hoboken based singer/songwriter McGarvey has been part of a few bands in the past (most notably Valentine Smith) but this is his debut solo album, and his previous experience is plainly evident on 'Tell Your Mother'. This is a fully rounded album in every respect; the lyrics, melodies and the
While all 13 songs are originals, they sound instantly familiar and comfortable on the first run through, but closer listening shows that rather than being derivative and safe, this fresh and individual melody driven roots/pop. It has a full sound but with masses of detail - there's lots of guitars (including some lovely 12 string), and great use of violin throughout, and this is all supported by keyboards and good use of backing vocals.
This is such a consistently good disc that picking highlights is very difficult, but personal favourites include 'Now' a wonderfully constructed song, sad and sweet lyrics with an infectious melody; and 'Jericho Smile' a piece of roots/pop to match any, with a chorus of 12 string, violin and organ under a strong melody.
'Tell Your Mother' is an album with masses to offer - 13 genuinely great songs, intelligent lyrics, and musical subtlety as well as hook laden melodies.
This disc has proved to be on of the most enjoyable and distracting discs I can remember, the review took an age to write as I found new things in the songs and stopped to have 'just one more listen'.
A superb collection of songs and an album that deserves to be huge success - don't miss it!