A lot has happened since Amy Macdonald released her debut album in 2007 which gave her hits in the shape of 'Mr Rock and Roll' and 'this is the life'. She toured around the world, released that difficult second album, got engaged and split up again. However the musical landscape has also changed in between her touring and recording stints. The likes of Adele and Jessie J are the dominant female artists in the UK, with the former going on to conquer the US charts and Grammy awards and eclipsing just about every other mainstream act in terms of sales.
Although you could say things have been quiet for Macdonald before the release of third album 'Life In A Beautiful Light' in the UK she has enjoyed huge success in Continental Europe. Especially in Germany, where she has even beaten Adele off to win some Music awards there. Unlike someone like Jessie J, whose ego perhaps puts people off, Amy Macdonald has her acoustic guitar and songs whilst retaining a certain likeability that makes everyone give her a fair chance.
'Life In A Beautiful Light' kicks off a slice of American Apple pie in '4th of July with the drums driving the song along in the background. 'Slow It Down,' the first single of the album sounds could be a perfect way to describe what has happened in her life over the past couple years. She toured extensively in support of her second album 'A Curious Thing' and recently split up with partner Steve Lovell. But 'Slow It Down' shows that Macdonald has not lost that ability to carve out a catchy song in the vein of 'This Is The Life'.
What this album does attempt to do is try and give the songs a more epic sounding musical landscape. This trait clearly witnessed on 'Across the Nile' which is reminiscent of Something of U2's 'Unforgettable Fire'. It also shows a maturity in Composition from Macdonald.
The best way to explain this would be to think of 'Poison Prince' from her debut album, her rousing little sing-along about the demise of The Libertines' Pete Doherty.
'Life In A Beautiful Light' represents another strong piece of work from Macdonald.
Although it may not reach the heights of the current crop of female performers on the scene this album will be enjoyable for fans but even those who are not initiated with her previous albums will find something to enjoy. The quality of the musicianship is first rate and although her voice has been compared to Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries, Amy Macdonald's voice is still recognisable. The one thing she does have going for is she hasn't penned an entire album about her break up like Adele or the cockiness that has put a lot of people on top. And that is the problem for 'Life in a beautiful light.' We now have a music industry where it's not the songs that do the talking, it's the PR and marketing.
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