Ah, the sweet sound of surprise. With all the music I have to sift through on a
weekly basis, it’s rare that something instantly moves me. But upon listening to
the first track of Ian McGlynn’s Tomorrow’s Taken, that’s what happened.
McGlynn has a way of merging 80s synth pop, jazz and lounge music, and churning
out melodic brilliance. There are influences of 80s artists like A-Ha, Erasure
and New Order here, drudging up feelings of nostalgia for anyone who grew up
during that era.
The album opens with a song called “Morning Prayer,” and the best way I can
describe it is as a male version of Sade. “You Might Understand” is dark yet
poppy, and probably would have made McGlynn an MTV hero back in the day. “How
Did I Get Here?” is an upbeat tune reminiscent of the Beatles, and “Carnivalism”
is inventive and yet still interesting, ala Radiohead. “Be My Guide,” like the
opening track, is simply mesmerizing, and “Turn Away” has a Beatles-meets-Oasis
feel. And while all of this is going on, there is that distinct 80s pop flavor
Forgive me for making this seem like a time warp, because I mean all of that as
a sincere compliment. Too many of today’s artists are processed, chopped up and
molded into perfect little portions of what the industry thinks the public
wants. What they tend to forget is that you need good ingredients to make good
food. Namely, it’s talent that makes for good records, and Ian McGlynn has that
kind of talent, both as a singer and as a songwriter. With Tomorrow’s Taken,
he has taken those ingredients and cooked up something special.