Album review: Dear Mark J Mulcahy, I Love You

By Graham Reid

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Mark Mulcahy 'Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You'.
Mark Mulcahy 'Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You'.

Neither Mulcahy's previous band, the US indie rock outfit Miracle Legion, nor his solo albums created a ripple here, but this new direction might just get traction.

Following the death of his wife five years ago he took time out and has reappeared as an abrasive streetwise singer-songwriter who even references the Velvet Underground's I'm Waiting for the Man in the acerbic opener I Taketh Away.

There are nods to Garland Jeffreys' street poetics, bitter acoustic-driven ballads (She Makes the World Turn Backwards, My Rose Coloured Friend), cruel humour (He's a Magnet with an early Dylan sneer and satirical folksiness) and he admits he's fallen in love with things he hates but is forgiving of himself and others (Bailing Out on Everything Again).

Musical understatement is everywhere so attention is on his folk-framed vocals and soul-baring lyrics.

Mulcahy may have distilled influences but he's decanted something of his own, although, in his world, disappointment lurks behind optimism and hope, scores are settled, friends will probably let you down and the final song is an accusation about base curiosity when someone commits suicide. Quite the journey.

Stars: 4.5/5
Verdict: Just 11 pointed songs in 36 minutes, but nothing more required

- TimeOut

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- NZ Herald

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