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Richard Reagh

Is This the Blues I’m Singing

(This Is Pop; US: 13 Dec 2006; UK: Unavailable)

Richard Reagh is a Canadian but perhaps like other Canucks, such as Danko Jones, Reagh has found a new audience in Sweden. The musician’s new album doesn’t have him singing the blues, but instead he relies on a nice Pet Shop Boys-ish backbeat during the poppy “The P-Song” which brings to mind Baby Dayliner. Another little gem is “Boo Backe” which is a bit lighter but just as pleasing. The same can be said for the festive, danceable “Outlaw 3.0”. However, not everything Reagh touches is gold, as is the case with the moodier “Me Too (Studio Version)” which brings a latter day Depeche Mode to one’s noggin. Reach’s pipes can also make one believe they’re listening to Kermit (the muppet), especially on the rather barren “Hangin’ on a Limb”. It’s a small price to pay though when El Perro Del Mar accompanies him on the song. Perhaps the highlight on the record is the punchy, jazz-tinged “No One Really Wants To” which falls alongside an upbeat Greg Dulli and The Twilight Singers. The homestretch tracks include the toe-tapping fun of “Alive” while the closing “Bread & Butter” has traces of Neil Young throughout.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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