Martin Carr is commonly known for his time as the principle songwriter and guitarist for the UK band The Boo Radleys, but for over a decade Carr has been releasing music on his own. The singer-songwriter has created a new album that has pop, rock, and even indie influences. His latest work is titled The Breaks.

My favorite musical component on this album is the guitar. Instrumentally, there actually is a lot of personality throughout the album, which can range from lively to melancholy. The background vocals do a fabulous job behind Carr’s lead, adding depth to the sound with tight harmonies. The lyrics definitely are the most creative aspect of the album; they’re wonderfully illustrative.

The record begins with the fun single “The Santa Fe Skyway,” and it features horns and female background vocalists. “St Peter In Chains” is upbeat and displays some of Carr’s best descriptive language. One of the standout tracks on the release is “Mountains.” Its serious, darker tone, with rich guitar licks gives it an identifiable sound. The best vocal arrangement can be found in “Sometimes It Pours” due to its surprising complex vocal harmony. “No Money In My Pocket” is a light, optimistic ballad that depicts an array of familiar figures and their story.

I’ve found that the songs I appreciated more had a darker or more acoustic approach to them. Carr’s songwriter talents truly shine when kept simple. I can appreciate the efforts to diversify the tracklist, but I’m left with a desire to hear more of Carr’s heavier sound and rock-inspired work.

In A Word: Equivocal

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