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Amy Macdonald: A Curious Thing

(Mercury)

3 out of 5

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  2. Amy Macdonald
  3. A Curious Thing
  4. Mercury
  5. 2010

Her debut album was the 10th bestselling release of 2008 in Britain, yet Amy Macdonald is still essentially anonymous outside her native Scotland, a state of affairs that looks set to continue. Like its predecessor, A Curious Thing is loaded with heartfelt, songwriterly tunes that burrow into your consciousness but somehow fail to register on a deeper level. Its primary attributes are Macdonald's rootsy Celtic voice and her intolerance of the famous idiots she has met since making her first album, a subject she witheringly addresses on An Ordinary Life (inspired by guests at a party thrown by a Hollywood actor), This Pretty Face and the rip-roaring, violin-accented Don't Tell Me That It's Over. Elsewhere, the record benefits from a more dynamic approach and a judicious use of strings, which add a kick to otherwise plain guitar, bass and drums. But, as before, it lacks that punch that would make it truly memorable.


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  • factual999 factual999

    5 Mar 2010, 8:35AM

    Hello?!?.......facts..... Amy Macdonald is successful in over 15 countries, she has sold more than 3 million copies of her debut album, she writes all of her own songs and has had no. 1 singles and albums all over the world. Quite where you get your facts is beyond me,...saying that Amy is only successful in her 'native' Scotland is untrue and an insult to a true talent. Clearly, had you listened to Amy's new album, you would have noted the 5 or 6 clear hit singles and perhaps noticed that the legend that is Paul Weller also plays on the album, he at least does recognise true talent. I suggest you have another listen, this time without the cotton in your ears......you just lost one reader, at least!

    my oh my...

    here is a correct review by Paul Lester at the BBC

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/g4zb

  • mkb86 mkb86

    5 Mar 2010, 11:20AM

    God, why do people get so hideously offended when someone they're a fan of doesn't get a 5-star review?

    @factual999

    saying that Amy is only successful in her 'native' Scotland is untrue

    Maybe that's why the review never stated that.

    Clearly, had you listened to Amy's new album...

    Where do you get the idea that the reviewer never listened to the album?

    ...you would have noted the 5 or 6 clear hit singles...

    It'll be interesting to see how many of those actually become hit singles.

    ...and perhaps noticed that the legend that is Paul Weller also plays on the album

    We'll have to agree to disagree on Paul Weller, who in my opinion would struggle to be any more boring.

    How can you say that one review is 'correct' and another isn't? Because one agrees with you?

    I've got no opinion on Amy MacDonald either way, but reactionary posts against any review with the temerity to disagree with you are just daft.

  • steved steved

    5 Mar 2010, 12:11PM

    No particular fan of her music but It's a biazarrely parochial view that she's essentially anonymous outside Scotland. Perhaps it may be more accurate to say she's anonymous among the London-based music twitterati?

    Even a cursory glance at sales figures across Europe in Music Week would suggest she made a massive impact with her debut album while getting little publicity compared to other over-hyped acts.

  • CarolineSullivan CarolineSullivan

    5 Mar 2010, 3:45PM

    Contributor Contributor

    There's a difference between being anonymous and being unsuccessful. I'm not implying she's had no success - if you read the first sentence of the review again, you'll see that I said her first album was the 10th best selling in Britain in 2008.

    However, selling a lot of albums doesn't automatically equate with being well-known. I agree that she has plenty of fans, but she hasn't cracked the household-name barrier - unless you're one of those fans, you've probably never heard of her. Whereas, say, Duffy - who also sold a huge number of albums that year - is familiar to of milions of people, including those who've never bought a single record by her.

    Saying Amy M is "anonymous" isn't a value judgment, it's a fact.

  • samson1234 samson1234

    5 Mar 2010, 5:43PM

    Billboard: You're the biggest thing in Switzerland since the cuckoo clock -- what do they see in you over there?

    According to a question posed to Amy Macdonald by Billboard magazine , they don't think that your 'anonymous' tag is a fact.

  • steved steved

    6 Mar 2010, 1:33AM

    Caroline - it is a value judgment, as she's clearly not anonymous outside her native Scotland. There's whole swathes of Europe where she had incredible success in 2008/2009 let alone the UK. Perhaps your definition of fact is a tad loose and confined to your media circle?

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