CD REVIEW: Doug McCurry - Seven Songs About Leaving
By Cyrus Rhodes - 07/13/2010 - 11:20 AM EDT
Artist: Doug McCurry
Album: Seven Songs About Leaving
Label: Independent Artist
Sounds Like: Nick Cave. Andor, Freddie Hart
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 5/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: October Rain, Dig a Hole
Weakness: Production is to short. feels like an incomplete statement.
Acoustic Singer/Songwritter Doug McCurry hailing from North Carolina releases his debut CD; “Seven Songs About Leaving” on July 19, 2010. You may remember McCurry from the days he was on the band Big Brick Building, who released 2 CDs & drew the attention of both industry professionals & music critics alike. After several years in the shadows, “Seven Songs About Leaving” marks the return of Doug McCurry.
Logging in at just over 30 minutes, the CD kicks things off with “Mama Said” a dynamic intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythm, infectious vocal harmonies, & accents with catchy rock chorus. Track 2 “21st Century Car” shifts gears a bit with a steady flowing acoustical rhythms, interesting harmonies, & creative sonic vocal layering. This coupled with sinister keyboard accents, & mesmerizing lyrical content makes for a very interesting statement. Track 3 “Mama Said No 2” serves up more of the same trippiness & sounds like Peter Gabriel south of the Mason Dixon Line As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts such as Nick Cave. Freddie Hart, Skeets McDonald, Andor & maybe just a splash of the Beatles & R.E.M. The music itself is an impressive blend of alternative & acoustic rock, & with just a dash of punk. The writing, playing, & singing abilities for McCurry are impressive, & I might add McCurry plays all musical instrumentation on the CD as well. McCurry’s voice goes down smooth, & at times reminds me of John Lennon, Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips.) What I like the most about the CD is its sheer song for song unpredictability & darkness. You never really know what’s waiting for you around the next corner. I give McCurry high marks on his writing virtuoso and not being afraid of being original. Unlike other dark artists out there like Marylyn Manson who try so hard to convince you they belong in a rubber room, McCurry just refuses to put forth the effort. The lyrics seem very straightforward but make no bones about it they are extremely thought provoking and painfully real. It took courage, skill and deep honesty to write this music. There is dark pain and lamentation lingering everywhere, but you'll notice bright pockets of hope that shine through as well. To McCurry I say "dude get some therapy, but not until we get a few more CD's out of you first". There’s also plenty of rich sonic layering woven deep within the fabric of the mixes. In classic parallel fashion the subject matter of some of these songs is also buried deep within the lyrical content. Make no bones about "Seven Songs About Leaving" is a dark record, but McCurry never once goes over the top. Give this CD a wide berth & the Suicide Hotline Number. From melancholy “October Rain”, to radical “Wake up call”, to dark “Dig a Hole” this CD pretty much has it all. I can honestly say I was entertained the entire time, with never a dull moment on this entire CD. “Seven Songs About Leaving” pushes the envelope hard, & will keep you guessing the entire time. The CD ends with “Jesus is Calling” a smooth melancholy assessment of the truth, with numbing acoustical vibe waving you in for a smooth landing.
At 30 minutes & some change the CD is a bit short. All songs under 2 minutes feel like incomplete musical experiences, while all songs over 5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. If there were say 4 or 5 more songs on the CD it would no doubt render a 10 star rating. Unfortunately, at the end of the day “Seven Songs About Waiting” just feels like an incomplete statement at 30 minutes & some change.
From start to finish “Seven Songs about Leaving” is an impressive catalog of music. The music is highly original, unpredictable as hell, & pushes the envelope hard. It’s strong suit – the amazing creative genius of Doug McCurry. McCurry possess enough musical talent & songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. The melodies & harmonies are well crafted, with lyrical content is hard to pin down, & the music is dark & genuine. Like the aforementioned I really enjoyed the Trippiness & sheer unpredictability of all the songs. Overall it makes for a brilliant snapshot of music. I really admire artists out there who are themselves and just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to the artist that can show us something real and genuine beneath their veil of vanity. Doug McCurry is one of those artists that shows you his perspective. Be advised you may not want to listen to “Seven Songs About Leaving” on the night your wife leaves you, but if your looking for tripped out musical experience that offers up alternative & acoustical rock overtones I highly recommend you jump head first into “Seven Songs About Leaving.”
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