Moody McArdle
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Moody McArdle

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Mar
21
Moody McArdle @ The Selkirk

London, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

London, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

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Our Rating: 8/10
Everything including the kitchen sink has been thrown into the production of this album and in a way I think that's part of its charm, no matter how hard you listen, you will not hear a misplaced note on this record.

Whilst many people claim they like to hear a raw-ness in rock music I imagine this is a band with a much heavier sound when they perform live meaning that the album can play to its strengths; thoughtful melodies, deep vocals and well-crafted songs populate 'Fractured Soul'.

Much the same as Coldplay or U2 this album is suited to listening via headphones in a darkened room; taking in the beautifully crafted sounds and layers present in the recordings. The album hints that as a live outfit the band would create a stadium-filling sound and given the ambition with which they have approached their debut album, they deserve to be at that level in the future.

Front-man Tommy McArdle's vocal at times reminds me of Neil Diamond in its richness and at other times has a sound of Toploader's Joseph Washbourne or Creed's Scott Stapp and not in a bad way, if we think back to 5 years ago, both Toploader and Creed had a great deal of success, wrote some hugely popular songs and sold millions of records.

Overall this is a great album with huge commercial appeal from a band who deserve to succeed as they're doing something a lot of other people are neglecting to do, they write music for the masses and clearly have fun doing it.

- lizharvs


'Fractured Soul' is the impressive debut album release from Moody McArdle; a richly descriptive and moody work that takes in blues undertones and soft-rock leanings as it ploughs through indie rock and on into something close to pop-rock.

This is an extremely accomplished album; lovingly polished and superbly crafted it almost defies categorisation but it's genre straddling nuances will satisfy many a wise old muso no matter what his or her musical persuasions. 'Fractured Soul' tends to be handled with relaxed but sensitive 'hands'; the overall feel is one of hard realised belief and truth denoted by mellow vocals and empathetically proportioned instrumentation. Soothing yet poignant, mellow yet striking!!

'Fractured Soul' is certainly beautifully executed - everything sits nicely in its own place, never coincidental with anything else, never cluttered, never lost. Generally, 'Fractured Soul' retains a pretty cool feel and only occasionally does it manage to lift off into more kick-ass rock - a bit of less is more methinks, however, at times I felt that more would indeed be more and might even lift a few of the songs and change the dynamics without loosing the 'reality'.

'Fractured Soul' by Moody McArdle is a very impressive debut; it covers most bases and whets the appetite for more of the same - in that respect this album has done its job and more. Overall I feel that Moody McArdle might be trying to be just too chilled but, saying that, repeat plays certainly get more juices flowing and this could prove to be a real little worker with a few more listens. 'Fractured Soul' by Moody McArdle is an album of sensitive songs delivered with great musicianship and deft touch - I like the slick feel, I like the cool vibe, I like the fact that this feels entirely ego free - no huge solos, nothing self-indulgent, nowt that's not accessible to the average man in the street. Altogether, 'Fractured Soul' is an excellent debut album from an outfit that sound like they're in it for the long haul. I'm sure that there's much more to come from this crackin' outfit - 'Fractured Soul' by Moody McArdle certainly gets the job done and leaves a very pleasant after-taste that will need satiating by more of the same some time in the future. Very nice work this - a pleasure cruise of modern blues tinged soft-rock that's got something to say and says it bloody well!! - Toxic Pete


Working as Moody McArdle, Tommy and his band have put together an exceptionally accomplished collection of proper grown-up songs, which will make a wide array of Guardian / Word readers very happy, should they get the opportunity to hear it. If I was him, I'd be punting an email to David Hepworth to snag a spot on the Word cover CD. It'll fit in beautifully with their alt folk / nu folk / whatever they're calling it this week folk ethos, and could provide the wee push to get them stepping up from the Water Rats London circuit.

He has a great, husky voice, a way with an emotional ballad that makes you ever so slightly moist (in a good way), and a few spins of "My Everything" on a British romcom, and the royalty cheques should see him settled for life. He sometimes veers off into folk Blues, even adult contemporary, but when he sticks to wearing his heart on his sleeve, then it's a real pleasure.

- Administrator


Its hard to know what to say about an album which does exactly what it was created to do, even if that happens to be something I can't stand. Because, despite the band's claim that this is 'a journey into the darkest recesses of the human mind', this is an album thats aiming straight for the stadiums. They've made this an album full of big gestures and grand stirring anthems, but in the process it seems to have bypassed any sort of human connection. The title track is a case in point; it starts as a minimal acoustic ballad but by the end of 3 minutes everything but kitchen sink's been thrown in to create a massive over-produced epic. Fair enough, but this happens on every track. There are some good ideas here, but they're never left to run their course, but tinkered with, and coated in layers of synths, thousands of guitars and tons of reverb. Its not that the production's bad. Its perfect, like something they'd give away as a demo on a music production magazine, but as such is completely devoid of any edge. These are songs made to be yelled, shirtless from a clifftop, and they're as good an example of that sort of music as you're likely to find. Its just that personally, it leaves me cold.

HYPERLINK "http://www.tastyfanzine.org.uk/albums80nov08.htm" \l "tastytop"
Andy Glynn

- Andy Glynn


Discography

LP - Fractured Soul (Nov 2008):
Airplay on ABC Network stations in US for the song Curtain Call

Photos

Bio

‘Fractured Soul’ is the fascinating debut album by Moody McArdle, a work steeped in a gritty songwriter style with a commercial rock sound and influenced at every turn by Tommy McArdle’s day job. Tommy works in the underbelly of city living in forensic psychiatry at a Regional Secure Unit for mentally disordered offenders.

‘Fractured Soul’ documents his efforts to understand the people he has come into contact with and as a result is a life affirming journey into the darkest recesses of the mind and the brighter edges of hope. Many of the lyrical themes stem from Tommy’s attempts to communicate and understand the thought processes and behaviour which have led people to where they are and perhaps help them find a way to move beyond it. The result is one of the most atmospheric and original albums of the year.

Tommy’s distinctive soothing vocal is instantly identifiable, his voice fitting snugly within the classic rock framework of the songs complimented by the melodic subtlety of delicate piano and vibrant guitar. With a history as an acoustic songwriter McArdle naturally ensures all his songs have an irresistible melody, which flows calmly through the album. In addition, his experiences of working with some of society’s most vulnerable, fragile and marginalised individuals find their way into the music. ‘Fractured Soul’ delves deep into areas of the human condition, themes often neglected in modern ’scenester’ releases.

McArdle, a veteran of numerous British and Irish bands, talks candidly of his Irish roots, no-nonsense world view and a pragmatic cynical outlook of the state we are in. After a chaotic history of band implosions, rucks with managers and Joe Strummer grabbing Tommy by the balls, the band met in the melting pot of the capital’s vibrant music scene hailing as far afield as Switzerland, Martinique, Ireland, France and Hong Kong. The band is working the London live scene mercilessly and will be coming to a town near you…

With a number of tracks inspired by both Tommy’s day job and classic themes running through the album, the listener can expect a unique experience, ranging from dark lyrical themes to straight-up love songs. So sit back and make yourself comfortable, you are in for a Moody McArdle therapy session.

“It doesn’t get much better than this… gruff sounding, blues folk with a hint of sublime texture.” - The Acoustic Lounge