John McKinstry is a singer songwriter out of Toronto. A modern troubadour who melds an array of styles into one musical voice.
Goliath Falling is McKinstry's debut effort, and it brings together elements of soft pop, R&B, reggae, world beat, mixed with a folk style lyrical base. The result is a rather laid back, relaxed musical effort.
This has the feeling of clouds and cotton candy in its approach, just relaxed and easy going.
There are some nice instrumentation choices here. For example the horn work on Mary Celeste is very Jamaican in its sound, a trend you see in other cuts such as Orion, a song on sandy beaches and night skies.
The lyrics here are not particularly exciting, but that clearly isn't what McKinstry is trying for either.
This is really the music you might want to hear in a little bar on a beach somewhere where snow is an unknown. You could kick back, relax with something cold that has an umbrella as decoration, and chat with a friend, as this music merrily played in the background.
While this music has its place, I can't see it being a regular on the CD player for most. This is really mood music, and a particular mood at that.
There is nothing exactly wrong here, in fact take away the lyrics, and the music is darn solid, even hitting the edges of blues rock on a cut like Crackdown.
And, McKinstry's voice isn't bad either, having a clear, straight forward approach.
But, when it all mixes together it just misses the mark a little.
A stripped down instrumental version would have been a more compelling final package.
Check it out at www.jmckinstry.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Aug. 27, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada