Monday, 28 February 2011
Clare Maguire - Light After Dark
And you know what, for my penny's worth, this is a better album than those by Jessie J and Adele that are floating around in the shops at the moment. Both of those also represent extremely strong efforts, but with Clare Maguire, she makes things seem effortless. For her, the music becomes one and the same with her. Her sound is magical, deeply soulful, and comes back to the solid core of pure beauty that are her vocals. And boy are they amazing.
There's something of a Leona Lewis to Clare's voice, that husky deepness that speaks of raw passion and lends itself so well to big power ballads. Imagine the likes of Bonnie Tyler and Alison Moyet; those big female 80s voices you just don't get anymore. Clare is all this and more.
The 80s vibe manifests itself across the album which blends icy electronics and thunderous, industrial beats with piano. The Last Dance sees Clare at her most delicate and catchy, a pop gem as strong as anything Ellie Goulding can throw out.
In terms of highlights, they comes towards the end of the album; look out for the stunning You're Electric and the title track. Both see Clare at her most epic - so much so that they become almost filmic. There's this breathtaking futuristic/gothic feeling to the sound, music to sweep up and around the arches and halls of churches and cathedrals... and then on, higher and higher to the stars... onwards to the very limits of the universe.
Light After Dark is an album without bounds. It is vastly inventive, with Clare's talent laid bare for all to see. The sound is cold, but the emotions are infinitely open; tapping into memories we've all experienced. This is music on a universal scale, and Clare most definitely has what it takes to carry it.