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On disc: Joe McGurk

Encore - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


(Lion Music - 2018)

Guitarist Joe McGurk some might know for his work with Opposing Motion and / or Operose. Now he's back with a solo album called Encore. This is his second solo album, his debut Elements was released in 2015.

The title track is the opener and gives a glimpse of what to expect - soundscapes with classic elements and neo-classical guitar parts. Sailing To Eternity has a more cinematic sound with orchestral elements, tempi changes and gives McGurk space to show his skills.

One of the highlights is Well Trodden Path Of Regret where Joe McGurk gets a helping hand from Lars Eric Mattsson. With Neoclassica (Avarice Suite) you get a long track where you get a more typical neo-classical guitar, but still embedded in a song structure.

At Butterfly In The Underworld a female voice is add, but more used like an instrument.... Partly it's like an orchestral piece which gets interrupted by a neo-classical guitar, just to get back to the orchestral piece. Kind like a battle between an orchestra and a neo-classical guitarist. Interesting.

Elements - Classical Version is a bonus track, I guess it's a reprise of Elements from the debut album in a different version. As I'm not familiar with the album, I can't really say more about it.

Joe McGurk presents an album which is like a collection of short film soundtracks. Atmosphere and creating soundscapes has priority to complex guitar passages. He surely shows off his talent, but only when it fits the song.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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