Eugene Twist - The Boy Who Had Everything
The Boy Who Had Everything is not an unearthed novel from Stieg Larsson, rather the latest release from Dickensian-themed, Scottish singer-songwriter, Eugene Twist. Whether this album is more bleak house or provides great expectations, it blasts off with opener 'If There’s Love Where I’m Going”, which throws the musical kitchen sink into proceedings, including a horn section. There’s an element in the early part of the album that edges towards the theatrical, like a less tongue-in-cheek Divine Comedy. There are retro stylings throughout, all framing the “Dylan in croon mode” vocals.
What pervades every track is a sense of accomplished professionalism. There’s a richness across the board with much craft and love in evidence. Against this level of artistry it’s almost baffling to report that there’s a nagging sense that these songs are in some way, ultimately, unengaging. Yet there are highlights. 'Tough Act To Follow' has a closing-time-at-the-bar charm and whilst some of the later tracks skirt complacency, the album ends with the mournful 'Actress on a Mattress' that has a little more heart.
This is like a Tale of Two Artists: one with a rich musical sense and strong production value, and another who’s lyrically striving to connect with a audience. All in all, keep an eye on Mr Twist. I sense in the future that we will be back asking for more.