Review Archive

‘Behind the Scenes’ from singer-songwriter James O’Connor - 'profound lyrical potency

(May 07, 2014)

There’s a certain lyrical intensity that flows through ‘Behind the Scenes’ from singer-songwriter James O’Connor, and that’s the overriding impression of this work – the lives of people, places, Behind The Scenes James OConnorincidents and experiences illustrated through words. The thirteen songs on the album investigate aspects of the human condition from both personal and public perspectives, add melodies that imprint the words in your mind and that’s pretty much what ‘Behind The Scenes’ delivers. And I for one found its lyrical potency quite profound.

There’s the distinct impression that James has crafted this album as an integrated whole. It’s clearly not a concept album, however the flow from start to finish imparts a storytelling quality that progresses throughout. From the quiet philosophy of the opener ‘Tightrope’ and the slightly more acerbic view of ‘Can’t Take Money’ through the bleak reality of ‘Hindsight’ and ‘Warmth of a Smile’ with its simple message, to the aching acceptance of ‘Right to be Wrong’, these songs deliver poignant messages and narratives.

Mentioning stand-out tracks is no more than personal opinion, however the pure simplicity within ‘Keep Your Mind’, the percussive presence of ‘Close Your Eyes’ and the precise examination of overbearing predictability through ‘Small Town Syndrome’ certainly made an impression.

‘Behind The Scenes’ was recorded at Golden Egg Studios, Portlaoise, Ireland, produced and mixed by Brian O’Mahoney. Playing on the album are James O’Connor (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion) David Harte (bass guitar, upright bass) Dan Shiel (electric guitar) and Matt Cross (drums).

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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