The Joys of Modern Life by The Dennis McCalmont Band has a dreamy and positive vibe. This is shown in the opening track Best Days of My Life which foretells the atmosphere of the whole record-energetic, smooth and timeless.
The introduction of funky guitars, groovy bass and smooth percussion call to mind Jazz and R&B influences. His slick voice is the pillar of this release. I like singers who have big voices and great range. He embodies the likes of great 70s singers-combining the styles of Smokey Robinson and Phil Lynott.
The Joys of Modern Life boasts 12 songs that articulate the maturity of the singer-songwriter and his band. There is nuance in every song and there is also great passion. Each song feel like a holiday with their breezy melodies and apt instrumental arrangements.
This recording is a follow-up to his successful #SoulRecall which I also featured in this blog. What can I say? It is always a pleasure to write about an artist who is fond of making amazinf albums. The Joys of Modern Life is filled with eloquent essays about how we live our lives written in song form. And I know listeners can identify their sentiments to each song and hopefully pick one of more stand out tracks as their favorites. I know I have mine.
Here’s an interesting blurb about the album:
One of The Joys of Modern Life is having the Musical Technology available to allow Four Musicians to go into a Room for Three Days and Record An Album… Now that’s just Brilliant!
However the content of The Dennis McCalmont Band’s latest offering takes a more ‘tongue in cheek’ look at The Joys Of Modern Life.
The Album kicks off with ‘Best Days Of My Life’ in a rush to get ready for the Day ahead!
We’re living in a very uncertain World right now and McCalmont’s Lyrics seem to be right on Point, he addresses this from a Personal perspective on ‘Pure’ he laments ‘Once I Was Uncertain, but now I’m not so sure..’ and from the bigger picture ‘Your Life could change in a moment’ on ‘Nature Of Life’, and no one could argue that the Global Landscape has certainly changed recently, leaving us all a bit more insecure about our future.
McCalmont and his Band of Soul Mates, Donal Hoban (Drums) Craig Donaldson (Bass) Michael Buckton Lead Guitar, John Flatley (Piano) and Tony Bambrick (Guitar), Rock and Groove their way through some tougher subject matter too, including reflections on Domestic Abuse ‘Leave’, Alcoholism and Addiction ‘Wasted’ where other Songwriters might fear to tread.
But there is Hope…
The Closing tracks ‘Time For Truth’ address Modern War and Conflict ‘When the World goes Crazy, You gotta trust Yourself ‘ is a hopeful lyrical Anthem with a clear message to continue to chart Your life course regardless of the difficulties around you.
Yes Modern Life, with all it’s Technological Highlights can still be a very Dark Place for Real Lives to Survive, but they do…
So is this release different than #SoulRecall? Yes and No. I think his every release speaks about the time of their creation. I think it is different in a sense that the topics/themes are different from the last album. The style is distinctive. It is purely McCalmont with his love for good melodies and unique chord patterns. Though I must say this one feels more pop and upbeat while the last one has an acoustic/jazzy feel-mostly.
So how do we assist this musically? I think McCalmont is already a better musician before he ventured into recording. Which I think a lot of indie artists out there can learn from. Creativity is not enough these days. You need the gift of eloquence that your listener can relate to, and can listen to time and time again. Here’s the track listing for The Joys of Modern Life:
1.Best Days Of My Life 03:27
4.Nature Of Life 03:47
6.If You See My Girl 02:47
7.Something She Said 02:56
10. Time For Truth 03:39
11.When The World Goes Crazy 04:03
All songs from this release are generally lively. All eleven tracks crafted artfully. When The World Goes Crazy closes the album. And I think it is a timely song for these turbulent times. It says that you need to trust yourself. Trust your instinct..trust your humanity and the vallues that you’ve been taught as a child. Because I think in the end when everything crumbles, there will always be that light inside us that will never die-the light of love given to us by those who nurtured us to become who we are now. And that is our thread out of every labyrinth. Thanks to The Joys of Modern Life for making me think that way.