Magic Car “Meteorites” (Tiny Dog, 2016)

magic-car-meteorites-cover-jpgMagic Car are a collective of musicians led by Phil Smeeton, a Nottingham based actor/singer songwriter. They perform from a mixed palette of roots influences mainly concentrating on the folk idiom for the slices of pop dappled sentiments and melodies. There are the country blues stylings of ‘Only in America’ with its harmonica and bottleneck and the swampy ‘Manwhippa’ – a pean to a dominatrix – with its fuzzed guitar and torchy vocals from Hazel Atkinson, awoman with a spectacular voice that is perhaps a cut above the songs she is given to work with. This and ‘Summer Storm’ show off her talents and represent the best of the album.

Nicely produced and with some lovely musical flourishes, the thing that lets ‘Meteorites’ down is the quality of the songwriting. These are workaday songs – all well and good but there is a heart missing. This reviewer was unmoved by the clearly well engineered scenes. There need to be more emotional hooks to break through in a cluttered market swamped with mediocrity. Maybe next time.

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