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June 25, 2024

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Us (XL Recordings)

By: Alex Steininger

Scotland's Colin MacIntyre writes, performs, produces, and designs everything for his albums. His second full-length, Us, the follow up to 2001's Loss, benefits and hurts from this direction. Clocking in at nearly an hour, some of the album grows tiring and starts to drag, especially when MacIntyre is delivering his songs with a drippy, crawling presentation. However, a quick snap of the fingers, a good rock beat here and there, and you're awaken, as he once again sweeps you off your feet with gentle, honest songwriting and passive melodies. And even though some of the songs get a bit stale at times, the highs are definitely worth the lows (and the lows, by anyone else's standards, are pretty darn good). Crafting sweeping melodies and heart pounding rockers alongside the sleepy songs, MacIntyre knows how to shake things up, keep them sounding familiar, and offer plenty of diversity while retaining his voice. A rarity in this day and age of music, and something he should be applauded for. I'll give it a B.
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