Clare Maguire – Light After Dark

July 24, 2012 at 8:31 PM | Posted in Clare Maguire | 1 Comment

Clare Maguire – Light After Dark

1. Are You Ready? (Intro)
2. The Shield And The Sword
3. The Last Dance
4. Freedom
5. I Surrender
6. Bullet
7. Happiest Pretenders
8. Sweet Lie
9. Break These Chains
10. You’re Electronic
11. Ain’t Nobody
12. Light After Dark
13. This Is Not The End

♦ ♦ ♦

Light After Dark is the debut album by English singer Clare Maguire, released on February 24, 2011. The album entered the Official UK Album Chart at #7 with a total of 17,967 copies sold in the opening week.

This album review was requested by ‘ayusecrets’.

Are You Ready? (Intro) is a very mysterious and almost foreboding intro, with some amazingly deep and high chanting by Clare. It sure catches my attention!

It flows right into the first full length track, and her third single, The Shield And The Sword. It amazes me how low and deep Clare’s vocals are, I imagined them to be a little lighter, but I like her mature sound. The track’s lyrical content is quite angry and agressive at some points, and it’s all strengthened even more by the dramatic elements in the arrangement, mainly the strings. Strong track.

The Last Dance is a midtempo track that really follows the trip-hop style, being midtempo electronica music with some really nice high synth riffs every now and then in the background. Clare’s vocals in this track can definitely be compared to the big women in the business, like Adele. The chorus is so good it stays in your head for a while.

Clare opens Freedom together with a piano, and the track evolves into something that comes pretty close to being a ballad. It’s just the piano, strings and percussion, though the percussion has quite a fast tempo in the chorus. Interesting arrangement. Clare uses her higher chest voice in this track and sounds amazing when doing so, but her belting is amazing as well.

The same (but higher) piano sound opens the next uptempo track, I Surrender. It adopts the same trip-hop/light electronica style like The Last Dance, but this track has a little more spice to it to be honest. Clare’s vocals combined with her background vocals have a surprisingly light sound this time, suits the track very well.

Bullet shows the deeper side of Clare’s vocals again, as well as the more mysterious sound of her music. Considering her vocals, sometimes they have a light operatic sound to them, but that’s really pretty in her case. I like the foreboding sound to the overall track, this is one f my favorites to be honest.

Happiest Pretenders stands out because of the nice guitar riffs in the background and the dramatic sound of the strings in the background. The chorus has an uplifting sound, even though it might not be meant like that. Still it is even more emphasized by the choir of children in the last chorus. Pretty song.

I like the sort of hip-hop styled beat in Sweet Lie, its heaviness works really well with the softness of the background vocals (which sound pretty angelic in this track), the strings and the piano melody. Clare’s vocals have a lighter and higher tone to them as well.

Break These Chains starts right away with a solid sound to it, considering both the music and Clare’s vocals (damn, her belting in the pre-chorus is amazing). Clare sounds like someone you really don’t wanna mess with, vocally this could be one of her best tracks. I love her lyrics in this track too.

You’re Electric is not much of a title to be honest, actually almost like a Gaga song, but who cares. The track itsself is more than that, including some of her amazing high belting again, just like in the previous track. This one has a better synth sound to it, although they tend to sound like organs every now and then.

Ain’t Nobody was Clare’s debut single, but in my opinion she should’ve picked one of the previous tracks instead. After hearing those, this one doesn’t appear to be that much special. Still, it has a nice beat an strings arrangement and Clare’s vocals are beautiful too, there’s just something about it that makes it less interesting than the previous couple of tracks.

Next comes the title track, which starts with a piano melody and Clare’s deep vocals (sometimes she reminds me a little of Cher, but that’s crazy). Light After Dark tends to get the same criticism as the previous track, until it turns out the be more interesting than that. This track actually has some highlights, especially the chorus. I like Clare’s extended deep high notes.

This Is Not The End has an incredibly foreboding and yet intimate sound thanks to the lone strings. Clare’s deep and emotional vocals blend in easily in this track in which the focus lies mostly on the lyrics. The overall track is very peaceful and thereby the most unique and beautiful track on the album, almost like a kind of bittersweet lullaby. Goosebumps, really.

I’m so glad ‘ayusecrets’ recommended this album, Clare Maguire is an amazing singer and I can’t wait to hear more from her. I heard her next album is due January 2013, so bring it on! This girl could be the new Cher, in my opinion at least, when it comes to the vocals. They’re so deep and have a good vibrato, and she can easily belt out her lyrics as well or sing higher notes. When it comes to her music, she has her very own sound and I like the mysterious sound of it. Her lyrics are pretty serious, but then the sound suits the lyrics even more. I’m pretty close to falling in love with this album, it’s amazing and RECOMMENDED.

Favorite tracks: The Shield And The Sword | Freedom | Bullet | Happiest Pretenders | Sweet Lie | Break These Chains | You’re Electric | Light After Dark | This Is Not The End


4½ stars


1 Comment »

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  1. Thank’s! This albums is awesome. I can´t wait for the next album.

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