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Wednesday 13 September 2023

Scott Gagner - Reverse

As we prioritise catching up on reviews this month and with a 31 in 31 upcoming as is the October tradition, I've been listening to a lot of music and generally my tastes have partly become a little harder sounding. But the counter balance is the return of old favourites and one such fave is Scott Gagner.

Hummingbird Heart was in the Top 20 in our Best Albums Of The Year and we were honoured to premiere the lead single from the follow up Blood Moon album. So you know the new album is gonna be ace and Reverse doesn't disappoint in any way.

With long time IDHAS favourite Nick Frater helping out on parts and the album being recorded at Abbey Road Studios, the bar is gonna be set high. There is also a concern with Abbey Road recordings that the sheer history of the place can allow artists to raid the music cupboard and involve every piece of kit available.

You don't ever really get that from Gagner. He knows what he's about and that is big melodic Pop Rock. Reverse as a complete piece feels mellower than previous albums. The arrangements are outstanding, particularly the Brass accompaniment, yet they never intrude on the song itself or become gratuitous.

You also know that you are going to get some great Piano Pop along the way and on both Jesus In reverse and Goodbye, Gagner's vocal is uncannily like Elvis Costello in similar mode. Then there is the splendid string arrangement on the melancholic Her Idea.

Friend Like You is very Andrew Gold and Sunlit Saturday is a great catch all Pop song and not a million miles away from errrrrr Nick Frater. There is also a touching tribute to Christine McVie which as you might imagine is very Fleetwood Mac.

There is a real departure with There Was A House Here which is very 80s in feel. I can't help comparing the vocal to Rush's Double Agent. There is an absolute show stopper though and as it is Abbey Road, the mellotron has to make an appearance.

Never Could See Any Other way is pure 1967 with Gagner's wonderful vocal and a Psych Pop, almost Toytown arrangement. It has an incredible Brass arrangement and becomes the centrepiece of a top notch Pop Rock album.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


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