It was in September 2008 I reviewed the debut, self-titled CD from Stephen Maguire, and it’s good news that he is back with Irish Soul.
Born and raised in Ireland, Maguire now has a Canadian connection having married a Yorkton gal so local readers will have some added interest.
The debut disk was one I tagged as having a ‘folk-style’. On Irish Soul, there is more pop styling to the work. In fact Best I Can has a decidedly Elton John feel to it.
Maguire however is at his best when the folk soul shows through.
Streets of Belfast is a wonderful song. The lyrics tell a story, and the music and vocals are infectious.
The same can be said for the opening cut, the title song, which is arguably the second best effort on the disk.
Clearly Maguire is casting his musical net a bit broader this time around, and that is a good thing. The more mainstream cuts, such as So You See Me, have a familiarity to them that will catch some listeners.
True even adds some ‘big band’ instrumentation that is a nice feature, or a song that is near R&B at times.
The key will be to not stray too far from the Irish roots. That is still where he brings everything together, lyrics, music, vocals, most effectively.
Check him out at www.stephenmaguirelive.com
— CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper April 14, 2010 - Yorkton, SK. Canada