'Coming Home' is an accomplished debut, beautifully produced & thoughtfully crafted throughout.
Munro - made in Scotland from mountains.
Reviews of Munro's debut EP
Stand in any lottery queue & you can almost hear the thoughts of those paying for their ticket, 'This week! this week! Everything will change if I win the jackpot. I’ll do all of the things I've always wanted to do & my life will change completely’. Now imagine those same people minus that hope of a big cash win. How many will go on to live the life they dream of? Few people live the life they really want to. They’ll find a hundred reasons as to why it can never happen. One of the bravest things that anyone can do is to completely start afresh & that is essentially what 'Coming Home' by Munro is all about.
Jayne Murdoch & Richard Smith, collectively known as Munro have created a sparkling debut recording that combines their obvious separate talents into a beautiful whole. Jayne's genuinely sincere vocal & Richard’s beautifully crafted accompaniment join to produce a very modern but totally authentic 'Country' sound.
Lead track ’Sweet Sorrow' is pure 'country' in every sense of the word. Little Walter himself would have been proud of the howling harmonica that drags the sorrow to new depths of angst. Jayne’s sweet harmonies belie this songs tale of addiction & dependence; themes which are explored further in its accompanying video.
In these days of thundering Adele slides & tear producing appoggiaturas Jayne Murdoch's beautifully understated performance of second track 'The Vow,' can sit comfortably with Bonnie Raitt's version of ' I Can't Make You Love Me ' where a sentiment such as 'When you look at her, I fade into the shadows' is delivered with a simple resignation that's worth a hundred glissandi in its spiritual truth. There's an ache in every word escaping from Jayne's pained lips. The truth of the story is made completely apparent in the emotion of the vocal performance. It’s clear this is not fiction, this really happened & because of that truth the listener is utterly drawn into the narrative. The arrangement, including a gorgeous cello counter melody, supports this lyrical emotion without ever once intruding upon the heartbreak.
'Bubbalee’ is an uplifting story of unconditional love. The start of a journey recalling a simpler time, a more naive time before the twists & turns that life throws at us. Ultimately it points back to a time that is only naive in the sense that we were unaware of how precious it was. Major chord builds upon happy major chord, layered within an infectious 'Walking On Sunshine' rhythm. Add a huge hooky vocal chant & you’ve got a smile on your face & an itch in your feet. A sparkling banjo riff drives Bubbalee along with a true 'Country' musical sensibility, sure to appeal to both traditional and new country fans alike.
'Let It Go' is an advice song in the best Country tradition with ear worms that will have you humming along all day. Think Ricky Skagg’s lines like 'We can't control the wind but we can adjust the sail' or 'Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose' from the classic Kris Kristofferson penned 'Me and Bobby McGee'. 'Let It Go' tells it straight 'If it doesn't make you happy, let it go’. It epitomises the entire theme of 'Coming Home'.
'Walking With Angels' is a fitting closer… both asking & answering the question ‘what is truly important in this short journey we all face?’ There's an old saying that goes 'Life got in the way' meaning, there are so many things that we wanted to do but we just didn't get around to them because we were so busy with all the other things that were expected of us. ‘Walking With Angels’ is an archetypal Country Music parable about a situation that leads to a moment of self-realisation. In this case it's based upon Jayne's own personal battle with cancer. There's a lovely omnibus chord progression here with opposing chromatic lines which, together, drive the lyrics towards their positive conclusion.
American Country music grew from a melting pot of many cultures. Traditional tunes, exported with the original settlers from Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales, blended with the rhythmic influences of African immigrants in the slave plantations & a new musical genre grew alongside blues & jazz. True Country music as Garth Brooks said “is honesty, sincerity & real life to the hilt”. 'Coming Home' is an accomplished debut by Munro. Beautifully produced & thoughtfully crafted throughout. Sit back & enjoy Coming Home. Munro 'Made in Scotland from Mountains'.
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"Coming Home is not simply a collection of five songs. This is an uplifting story, which breaks your heart one minute and then makes you realise that it’s the hurt in life that makes the good times so much better. However, the message would be nothing without the music and Munro has talent in spades. A great debut."
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