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Artmagic - The Songs of Other England: Album Review

This is a chilled out offering from the duo of former Suede guitarist Richard Oakes and producer and singer Sean McGhee.

It took me back to a similar pairing of another former Suede guitarist, Bernard Butler, and singer David McAlmont who produced the very unique single ‘Yes’.

Artmagic. Image by Paul Khera. Supplied by Pomona PR. (12154298)
Artmagic. Image by Paul Khera. Supplied by Pomona PR. (12154298)

In this latest offering from Oakes and McGhee, who call themselves Artmagic, the songs have short story titles such as ‘The Farmer and the Field,’ ‘The King of Fishers’ and ‘The Fruit of the Mystery.’

It’s as far a departure from the music of Suede as you can imagine. Here, the sound is more atmospheric, with a touch of folk. The songs, as their titles indicate, tell stories, bringing in unique characters and imagery.

Sean McGhee has an interesting CV. He has been a backing singer and producer for Alison Moyet, but has also worked with artists as diverse as Britney Spears to Alanis Morissette.

I've heard some of Artmagic's previous releases and the music is quite catchy but I didn’t find the vocals strong enough on this album. It’s perfect in the background but not something I’d rush out to buy.

Reviewed by Zoe Myall


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