Review of Wise To The Fade Album by Kevin McDermott

Kevin McDermott
Wise To The Fade
Album Review

Kevin McDermott Wise To The Fade Album

Kevin McDermott is, simply, Glasgow's finest singer-songwriter. Which, when you think about the competition from that fair city, makes him something special - like Bob Dylan sung by Robbie Williams (in a good way...), his songs seem at once like old eloquent friends and like the best new thing you've heard in a long time - anthemic, melodic songs that fit like your best friends after 2 pints in the local. Wise To The Fade is a return to the studio for the first time since 1997's For Those In Peril From The Sea, and a welcome return it is.

This is Scotland's best singer-songwriter's best set of songs in a long while - as witty, articulate, and intensely melodic as ever, and with the unshackled feel of his second album - Bedazzled. If there's a criticism, it is perhaps that the humour dial is cranked up a touch too much. But when an album closes with songs as strong as September Songs (among his best ever) and the quiet, elegiac Voices, that's a minor nitpick. If there's a precedent, it is to 1991's Bedazzled, McDermott's follow-up to his Island debut - Wise To The Fade opens the album like Hole In The Ground opens its predecessor, with a bang and a statement of intent, followed by songs that excite and affect at turns. Kevin McDermott's best work is done live, and this long-overdue return to the studio hopefully signals a revitalized touring schedule. Album of the week.


Mike Rea

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