mon 23/10/2017

CD: Mark Mulcahy - The Possum in the Driveway | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Mark Mulcahy - The Possum in the Driveway

CD: Mark Mulcahy - The Possum in the Driveway

The Miracle Legion frontman's latest solo effort consistently surprises

Green was the colour of her eyes... and her walls

Initially released to coincide with Record Shop Day (we’re in the UK so yes, it’s a shop, thanks very much), we’re a little late out of the blocks with the Miracle Legion frontman’s latest solo venture, but then, The Possum in the Driveway is an album that benefits from a little time to bed in and take root.

Compared to 2013’s Dear Mark J Mulcahy, I Love You, Possum feels like a daring and deliberate attempt to reach further and broaden scope: to play many parts. “Stuck on Something Else” opens the album with a hushed reverence before Mulcahy’s voice takes hold: bold, purposed and drenched in a reverb that ensures its ghost remains imprinted – a quiet and knowing reflection.

It’s musical theatre, but with the jazzhands cut off

The Mariachi thrum of “I Am the Number 13” sees Mulcahy adopting an altogether different persona, vibrant vibrato masking an underplayed, yet convincing, menace. It’s musical theatre, but with the jazzhands cut off and cloying sentiment kept in check with a gag. “The Fiddler”, meanwhile, showcases a more soulful side. Particularly the point at which it joyfully steals the coat off the back of Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” and, rather than trying to cover up the crime, wears it home with a confident swagger of someone who knows they wear it well. It’s a ballsy move that is both playful and convincing. 

In places buoyed by driving beats and horns (the colliery funk of “Cross the Street”), in others pulled along by an impressive emotional current (the jazz-tinged album closer “Geraldine”), this is an album that consistently surprises and, more often than not, delights. This is no scattergun approach, however: though initially seemingly disparate, Mulcahy’s voice joins the dots throughout the collection and creates a picture bigger and more complex than the individual milieux he’s assembled here.

As well as an impressive and expansive addition to his canon, it seems entirely likely that the impressive breadth and studied craft contained within Possum will see Mulcahy’s reputation as a songwriter’s songwriter – Thom Yorke, REM and J Mascis are all firm fans – extended far further. Quite right, too.

@jahshabby

Mulcahy’s voice joins the dots throughout the collection and creates a picture more complex than the individual milieux

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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