Eugene McGuinness, 'Eugene McGuinness' (Domino)

Critical Mass

by David Peisner

"I shall age," Eugene McGuinness promises on "God in Space," the swaying, romantic ballad that closes his debut album. True, but the 22-year-old British singer-songwriter already sounds like an old soul. A few of these tunes toy with styles that sounded like throwbacks when Ray Davies played them 30 years ago; the rest are dragged no further toward the present than 1985. Perky guitar melodies and skiffle beats predominate, as McGuinness strums like he's not used to playing with an amplifier. It's wittier than it is moving or insightful, but give McGuinness time. He shall age.



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