Joe McKee – Burning Boy album review

Joe McKee’s Burning Boy doesn’t need much of an introduction from me. Actually, this is a much more different review for me than what I usually write. Let me explain this indie nightmare of a record:

With what seems to be an orchestral backing, “Lunar Sea” is what opens the record. It slowly but surely continues to build instrumentally, with McKee’s vocal stylings helping out. It’s really strange, and too obscure for my tastes – and I had a feeling the whole album may be like this. This isn’t entirely true, as there are no other tracks using a big orchestral backing, and instead make use of a couple guitar chords. I stress the word couple. This record gets repetitive and uninteresting rather quickly.

“Darling Hills” isn’t bad for a incredibly slow and airy track, and may be my favorite off the record – and even THAT isn’t saying much. “An Open Mine” even demonstrates something promising by adding in a percussion line towards the end of the song, but even that fails to hold my attention. There’s no drums. Ever. I think they’re present in the aforementioned song, and “A Double Life” – this annoys me. This whole album is so damn minimalist that it irritates me. Acoustic indie rock is acceptable in my mind compared to McKee’s music – and I dislike acoustic indie rock to a high degree.

I think there’s no denying that McKee has a great voice, as he should be praised for such a talent. The question here remains is if he’s using it the right way. I hate criticizing music and putting it down so much, because it’s someone art and creative expression. However, if it doesn’t hold my attention, and I just can’t enjoy it – I’ve gotta tell you to find some better music elsewhere. Too minimalist. Too stripped down. Too boring. Better luck next time, McKee.

By Jake Mullan

I go to a lot of shows. I listen to a lot of music. I write. I take pictures. Y'know, that kind of stuff.

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