JEFF MCCALL - "THOUGHTS & CROSSES" 2019

JEFF MCCALL


 "THOUGHTS & CROSSES"

2019

 

WE LEARN - As with most of Jeff McCall's retro 80s Synth Pop it is a great mix of a variety of styles and artists of that era.  This opening track is no exception.  There is a little Kraftwerk intro until the Dave Gahan like lyrics come in.  Indeed is sounds a lot like Gahan's band Depeche Mode with a hint of very early Spandau Ballet before they became "soul" boys.  

METAL MAN - If you are a fan of Thompson Twins and Erasure you will love this track.  It is a quirky mix of both bands with a pulating Electro beat with a melodious up and down backing with McCall lifting the song with his vocals to more uptempo style.

ON MY MIND - This second album continues with a slow, emotive ballad.  This is more Pop than the previous two, more New Wave or New Romantic with the sound reminiscent of The Human League.  A really nice song with a great chorus.

I WONDER - This track reminds me of A-ha, its soft Synth Pop backing and McCall's lilting vocals make this a great mid tempo ballad. 

HOLD ON TO LOVE - A more Disco Pop track, actually reminds me more of the early 90s than the 80s, but still an engaging track with its throbbing beat and its easy going chorus.  A half ballad in uptempo mode.

STATE OF MIND - Kraftwerk meets The Human League, another perfect slice of 80s Synth Pop.  The repetitive segements of effects in parts of the song aren't really needed as could be a great track on its own.  For me they are distracting but McCall is all about experimenting so kudos for that.  Probably my filler on the album just because of the repeat effects.

MAZE - Another Thompson Twins inspired track, in fact the biggest complement I can give is that it could be a track from them.  Love this, its got that danceable Synth beat and the vocals merge in brilliantly.  

BOYS DON'T CRY - A more melancholic song, a simple Synth Pop ballad that carries enough emotion to engage the listener. It is easy going, laid back and both sad and uplifting.  McCall's vocals convey the lyrics well.

AFTER THE PEACE - A mid tempo half ballad, half Pop track with a little Kraftwerk style backing McCall's vocals.  Sounding a little like Andy Bell (of Erasure) at times then Tom Bailey (Thompson Twins).  A really great song, almost has a Rock N' Roll hint if you listen carefully.  Love this.

JUST AN ILLUSION - This final track is teasing towards Synth Rock, a more heavier sound than the previous tracks.  A little early Roxette combined with Heaven 17 is the best I can explain this song.  I love it and yet again Jeff McCall has come up with a retro 80s record that is memorable following on from his debut, "Night Life" which I also reviewed.  Good stuff!.




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