Joys of Modern Life
With a clear commitment to quality on all fronts, Dennis McCalmont’s latest offering, the potentially-ironically titled The Joys of Modern Life is one of the most intimately personal albums I’ve heard in quite some time. McCalmont’s voice is impeccable throughout, and a fine bunch of melodic songs are fleshed out with a consistent contemporary rock/funk sound from his band of inventive musicians. And it’s an all-Irish affair. (Radio stations, please take note).
‘Best Days of My Life’ and ‘Suffocate’ have a very upful, no-nonsense driving sound underpinning some reflective lyrics about life and mis/trust.
‘Pure’ and ‘’Leave’ both ease off the throttle, allowing full space for McCalmont’s soulful vocal and knock-out lyrics. Nature of Life’ has an anthemic intro to kick-start a sturdy funk work-out, and there’s some more heartfelt funk in ‘Something She Said’.
There’s an optimistic knees-up jollity to ‘If You See My Girl’, all about lost love, but there’s a brooding quality to ‘Wasted’ that brings you back to the track time and time again. ‘Fall’ reveals a more reflective side of McCalmont’s worldview. It’s quiet philosophical in its intent and a fine song to boot.
‘Time For Truth’ is a hefty slice of solid rock with an uplifting positivity, and while ‘When The World Goes Crazy’ is slightly more laid back, it enables The Joys of Modern Life to end on an uncertain but ultimately hopeful note. Just like life?
Jackie Hayden (Hot Press)
Dennis McCalmont embraces the tired heart with Forevermore
I hope it lasts forevermore…
So the line from the title track croons to your tired heart like the best medicine ever. The latest offering from Irish singer/songwriter is a surprise because I was thinking he would go the same route as his soul-inspired debut SoulRecall album. After all, he does have a soul and he grooves like a master.
Forevermore centers around the theme of relationships..the beginning and the the end of them. The style is more laid back with the simplicity of folk/rock. I think this is the album that is close to his Irish roots. And man, this guy has an amazing voice!
There are 12 original tracks that play around 45 minutes. I am listening to this while sipping my first hot coffee of the day and I tell you, the mood is just right. Most of my favorites are slow tunes. Sleep Forever is cinematic and it demands for a scene in a movie. I think it’s the singing and the emphasis on the piano. This Could Be is another favorite which has a ‘hit’ potential. But I think with more live shows and promotion, this could be possible.
All of the songs in Forevermore are easy to remember and to singalong to. I find myself able to hum them after hearing. I think a lot of singer/songwriters can learn from Dennis McCalmont. He is an example that to be excellent you don’t just write and perform…you gotta have a really good voice with a good range to communicate the emotions behind the songs.
Like I said, I have many favorites in this album. But some of them really needs a mention. For example Out of Darkness has an uplifting hymn-like quality that proves to be a classic. There are more and it is up to you to find out. So go ahead and get this album when it comes out. It is a beautiful and artfully crafted second release from this magical Irish musical artist.
released November 15, 2018
Thanks to Craig Donaldson (Bass) Donal Hoban (Drums) John Flatley (Piano) and Tony Bambrick (Guitar)
Songs of Perfection
Dennis McCalmont: Vocals, Guitar, 12String, Bass
Anthony McNamee: Drums
Jennie Kilroy-Durkan: Backing Vocals, Tin Whistle, Accordian
Paul Kirwan: Piano/Keyz
Bill Shanley: Additional Guitars, Mandolin on #Gone
Engineered & Produced by Ciaran Byrne
www.cauldronstudios.com All Tracks Written/Composed by Dennis McCalmont
released October 21, 2016