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The Early Learnings of Eugene McGuinness

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Album Review

Featuring the infectious, instant-classic debut single "Monsters Under the Bed," a cheerful ode to paranoia and information overload set to a tune that recalls both Beck and Blur at their respective finest, The Early Learnings of Eugene McGuinness is a too-brief introduction to one of the most interesting and most British songwriters to come out of the current neo-Brit-pop spate. The Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, and the Kaiser Chiefs, not to forget minor acts like Little Man Tate, are all entirely capable of catchy tunes and clever lyrical twists. But the best tunes on this eight-track mini-album reveal McGuinness to be shooting for something a bit more than the next "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor." A wordy lyricist with a strong eye for sociocultural detail, McGuinness is firmly in the sons of Ray Davies camp alongside the Television Personalities' Dan Treacy, Paul Weller, and Damon Albarn: the jauntily snarky city travelogue "Bold Street" and "A Child Lost in Tesco" are particularly solid examples of his lyrical bent. Musically, the album can be overstuffed and over the top, with McGuinness seemingly throwing every arrangement and production idea he could into songs like "High Score" and even the relatively simple closer "A Girl Whom My Eyes Shine for But My Shoes Run From." The ungracious might complain about the resultant busy, hyperkinetic sound, but in fact, it's a perfect counterpoint to the jangled edge of many of McGuinness' prolix lyrics, and more restrained tunes like the gentle "Madeline" provide respites from the sonic onslaught. Barely 21 when he was signed to Domino Records and given his own subsidiary label, Eugene McGuinness has both talent and potential, and bears watching.

Customer Reviews


Thank you so much for finally adding this album! Words cannot contain my excitement. This man is a brilliant singer/song-writer, and I'm off to purchase this record right now! THANK YOU!


wow im so happy you put this up! i heard Monsters Under the Bed.. and i fell in love :) good think i always check if its available randomly thank you thank you ive been waiting for sooo long!


Fantastic album, brilliant songwriter.... Well done, iTunes! I just wish you guys would put Atlas on here.


Born: London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Armed with a truly outstanding debut single, "Monsters Under the Bed," that recalls artists ranging from Odelay-era Beck to '80s U.K. cult heroes the Television Personalities, Eugene McGuinness appeared rather out of nowhere in 2007, seeming like he might be the Damon Albarn of the current set of neo-Brit-popsters following in the wake of the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand. Like Albarn, McGuinness is a singer and songwriter of varied tastes whose talents extend beyond what's currently fashionable,...
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The Early Learnings of Eugene McGuinness, Eugene McGuinness
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