Clare Maguire – Light After Dark (Polydor) 28/02/2011

March 2, 2011 by  

It seems to be the year of the Brits, at least musically speaking. A whole new crop of talent has been harvested and is ready to be let upon the charts, and fighting for her big chance is singer-songwriter Clare Maguire. She has already toured with Hurts and has written a song with fellow Birmingham musician Mike Skinner (The Streets), which appears on his latest album Computers and Blues. And with her very own debut album, Light After Dark, due for release this week after months of anticipation amongst the industry and after being tipped by both BBC Sounds of 2011 and Radio 1 to be one of the biggest stars of 2011, the stakes are high.

The album itself opens with the surrealistic, laid back sounds of ‘Are You Ready’, which is a fifty-eight second clip of music with warbling vocals over the top. This confusing and underwhelming introduction sets the scene for the rest of the album; continuity and flow are non-existent and every song is completely different, but not in a good way. If you was hoping the album will be like her debut single then prepare to be disappointed, because it isn?t.

Title track, ‘Light After Dark’, leads you to think that perhaps Maguire is better suited to this kind of edgy, slightly rock-pop sound. It showcases her vocal talent, but does little musically other than to try and mimic a bad ’80s soundtrack. Album closer, the slow-paced ‘This Is Not The End’, leaves you hoping that it is, which is never really a good sign. As an album, Light After Dark seems confused about its musical identity and consequently with so many differing sounds, you?d find it difficult to appreciate Maguire within a singular genre or even several.

All in all, it?s not really lived up to the hype. For someone tipped to be one of the voices of 2011, you would expect far more than this for a debut album offering.