Monday, 5 October 2020

The New Jeff McCall Album "Somebody" Reviewed

Jeff McCall is an electronic musician based in the UK and started out as a lead vocalist of Synthpop band Malicieux Garde, in the early 80s, and it will come as no surprise that his music is influenced by many artists, from the 80s, including, Midge Ure, Vince Clarke and Gary Numan.

After a long break, he returned to making music in 2015 and was in a covers band called, Shades Of Grey. Soon after Jeff starting writing his own songs and released his debut EP "perspectives" in February in 2016 and debut album "Night Life" in October 2017. In 2019 Jeff released the album "Thoughts & Crosses", followed by the singles "Don't Scream People", a cover of "Neverending Story" and "Airflow".

That brings us to his new album which is called "Somebody" and features 10 tracks, let's have an indepth look at this synthpop gem......

The opening track is the title track "Somebody", which has a strong electro vibe and sounds quite dark at first but evolves into a solid synthpop song, a good opening track that sets the tone for the album.

"I See You" is certainly influenced by Depeche Mode, when Vince Clarke was the lead songwriter, plenty of hook lines and melodic sequences, Clarke's trademark, a track that sounds like it was made for Depeche Mode's "Speak & Spell" album, excellent track all round, great music and vocals, I can see this being a fan favourite.

Track 3 is "No Time To Die", which opens with haunting strings and then wallop, electro pop all the way, some nice piano parts, it's another catchy, upbeat song, not sure about the disorted effect on some of the vocals, not convinced it was needed, that said it is still a strong track.

"Twilight Zone", wow, a beautiful track, superb soundscape, great vocal and love the chorus, very "Ultravox", the structure of the track is truly excellent, piano parts again wonderful, great rhythm section, brilliant use of synths but it is the vocal that really stands out, without doubt, so far, my favourite track.

"Rick Rack" has a more minimal approach, which works very well with the vocal arrangement, reminded me of the sound of Depeche Mode on their "Construction Time Again" album, more of a ballad this one, which has been superbly executed. Perfectly placed in the running order on the album.

Following that track we have "Fallen Angel", which has some deep and dark sounds, punctured by melodic sequencer parts, another fine chorus on this track, I really like the darker sound on this song, another highlight.

"Imaginary World" definitely draws on the influence of Erasure, a superbly crafted synthpop track, Jeff has a talent to use strong melody lines in his songs and once again this track is evidence of that, some beautiful synth sounds used, a strong chorus, a synthpop gem! Love it!

Now i'm a sucker for sequencer melodies and "Part Of The Con" has a beautiful sequenced opening, I like the drums on this track, Jeff also introduces some organ and guitar parts, a fantastic driving Bass-line runs through the track, passionate vocal delivery by Jeff too.

"Your Eyes" is a mid-paced track which fuses together the influences of both Vince Clarke and Midge Ure, again the rhythm section is brilliant, a lot going on but he doesn't over do it, I like the sparseness of the track, plenty of space for the instrumentation and vocals, this is another highlight for me.

The album closes with the track "Goodbye Europa", which has a strong Midge Ure influence, Jeff even sounds like Midge on the chorus! some superb pad sounds used and again Jeff delivers an impeccable vocal, it's a moody track and a perfect way to end the album.

Over the years I have discovered an amazing amount of truly talented independent electronic music artists doing Podcast shows, and Jeff falls into that category, this album takes him to a higher level, 10 tracks of true quality, the album surprised me and I think fans are going to love it, highly recommended.


Jeff is doing a special offer, you can get the new album "Somebody" and his last album "Thoughts & Crosses" on CD at a discounted price of £15

The album "Somebody is available on CD here:

The album is also available as a digital download here:

No comments:

Post a Comment