liam macdonald / reviews
"...Verge is an absolute gem, which you really need to hear. ...For once
eclectic is not a dirty word." ~ Zeitgeist, Edinburgh
PHASE9 Entertainment in London and Los Angeles
“...Liam Macdonald seems to be a fascinating man indeed. ...Verge is captivating... The style is rock with a mix of jazz, world and pop... With this sort of experimentation, the songs are anything but dull... Throughout, you get a sense that everyone involved enjoyed recording this album...”
Feedback - British MENSA's rock music magazine
“...Liam's songs really stand out from the usual guitar/vocal that we associate with the genre. His rich, deep voice brings out another dimension from the songs... I have come away from this album mightily impressed by a new talent.”
Zeitgeist in Edinburgh, Scotland
“Liam Macdonald's Verge is a very interesting release, a melange of folk, world, jazz and rock with no easy hook to hang your coat on. But its diversity is what makes it so pleasurable. Unusually, I'm going to hit you with the highlights first. "Man Woman Child" is an absolute gem, which you really need to hear, world without being weary. And "Should Have Known" is a bona fide pop classic that should be all over the radio. Overall the band and backing create a very sympathetic environment for Liam's voice and songs. He was once dubbed 'a male Joni Mitchell,' and that's not too far off the mark. There's a little bit of everything and for once eclectic is not a dirty word.”
Classic Rock Society Magazine in the U.K.
“Now, I'm a little caught out by this album. It's sort of a singer songwriter's band album, with its heart in roots music. But it isn't that. It's folk but in a very modern way. If you can have country music as a genre, then can I suggest City music for this release? It has the same attitude as the former, but is urban based. Macdonald has a speaking singing style, but is far from rap, and the high level of acoustic instruments again leans it folkwards. Never trust genres. This is a classy release of excellent tunes!”
British Independent Record Dealers' Magazine
“Singer-songwriters are ten thousand a penny at the best of times. Pick up any wistful-looking stone and there'll be about five of them under there, complaining about navel fluff and the price of guitar strings in a whiny Jeff Buckley type voice. It's hardly inspiring. Thankfully Liam Macdonald favours a rather more ornate stone to make his home under...
Verge is all over the place, but it's a pretty nice place to be all over. The album kicks off in a thicket of spoken-word jazz noodle weirdness but by the end it's more like the Travelling Wilburys getting to grips with Rubber Soul. In a cunning inversion of the usual running-order approach, Macdonald starts with his most willfully out-there and serious stuff and gets progressively more commercial and poppy as the album plays on. Not the most obvious way to get from A to B but one that ends up being hard to criticise...
As admirable as the 'difficult' songs here are, it's on the more pop-friendly material that Verge really scores points. Macdonald's voice has echoes of Roy Orbison and The Lovin' Spoonful's Joe Butler and it's perfectly suited to the folk/country-rock stylings of the second half of the album... The opening "Eagle And Snake" might be the sounds of a Greenwich Village art loft, but the likes of the jangle-tastic "Manitoulin" are straight outta Woodstock... "Smiling Faces" in particular is near-faultless Sunshine Pop, not even two minutes long and sounding like some long-lost San Francisco classic unearthed at last. And this is the same guy who, only 20 minutes earlier, was starsailing out with the lurching, keening "nemOmen" (the best of the artier pieces, and a song that sounds like it's walking along an especially precarious tightrope). Verge really ought to be incoherent, incomprehensible and unapproachable. It is, of course, none of the above. A triumph of instinct over logic, then.”
Radio Six International in Glasgow, Scotland
“Verge is something a bit different that I quite enjoyed... Verge is also very good because no two songs are alike which makes it more interesting and gives a better indication of the talent of Macdonald and the musicians as well... Macdonald's voice is powerful and distinct... There is quite a lot of experimenting going on that in this case works... Verge is unusual in a good sense.”
Aural Innovations in the U.K.
“Liam Macdonald's Verge CD is EXCELLENT! We especially like the first two tracks, 'Eagle and Snake' and 'Burning Blue' - A wonderful opener.”
Radio Marabu, Berlin
Lord Litter Dittmar, Global DJ
“Verge is VERY cool - exactly the *unique approach* to music that I mainly like to present at my shows! I am enjoying Liam Macdonald's very own *fusion* sound very much!”
Radio Crystal Blue in Brooklyn,
“I really like the multi-dimensional sounds along classic pop folk of Liam Macdonald's music.”
CKCU FM Radio 93.1 in Ottawa, Canada
“Even at first listen I liked Verge very much. Liam Macdonald has a great sense of rhythm.”
KKFI FM Radio 90.1 in Kansas City, U.S.A.
“After having given it a good listen I really liked Verge!”
Bonafide Studio, U.K.
Deanna Vukovic-Bogdanovic - Studio Director
“Verge will give you some good jazz/pop with variety on instruments throughout. Even some I had trouble identifying (mini-Mooq, Thai Kaen.) Enjoy!
reviews of individual tracks
1. Eagle and Snake (spoken word jazz rock)
“'Eagle And Snake' is some sort of jazz music that was meant to sound strange. It does and in a good way.” - Aly Woodhouse on Radio Six International, Glasgow
“'Eagle And Snake' might be the sounds of a Greenwich Village art loft” - British Independent Record Dealers' Magazine, U.K.
“Liam Macdonald's Verge CD is EXCELLENT! We especially like the first two tracks, 'Eagle and Snake' and 'Burning Blue' - a wonderful opener.” - Aural Innovations, U.K.
2. Burning Blue (adult pop rock)
“'Burning Blue' is probably the most atmospheric of the tracks on Verge. I particularly like the use of the flute and the marimbas.” - Aly Woodhouse on Radio Six International, Glasgow
“Liam Macdonald's Verge CD is EXCELLENT! We especially like the first two tracks, 'Eagle and Snake' and 'Burning Blue' - a wonderful opener.” Aural Innovations, U.K.
“Now that's great stuff!” - Gary Fosster, DJ on Spyda Radio, U.K.
3. nemOmen (art rock)
“'nemOmen' is given a distinctly creepy edge by the rumbling bass and mini-Moog squeaks.” - MENSA's Feedback Magazine, U.K.
“'nemOmen' is the best of the artier pieces [on Verge], and a song that sounds like it's walking along an especially precarious tightrope.” - British Independent Record Dealers' Magazine
4. Man Woman Child (world rock)
“'Man Woman Child' is an absolute gem, which you really need to hear, world without being weary.” - Zeitgeist Magazine, Edinburgh
“The pedal steel guitar on 'Man Woman Child' really gives it an edge.” - MENSA'S Feedback Magazine, U.K.
5. Tongue Inside the Bell (jazz blues folk)
“The first time I listened to 'Tongue Inside the Bell' I thought it was a bit old-fashioned because of the accompaniment. But after listening to it in greater detail I found it was extremely weird. When Macdonald made Verge he had some very odd thoughts in his head that deal with some unusual issues.” - Aly Woodhouse on Radio Six International, Glasgow
6. Manitoulin (cosmic country rock)
“'Manitoulin is jangle-tastic.” - British Independent Record Dealers' Magazine
7. Should Have Known (retro pop)
“'Should Have Known' is a bona fide pop classic that should be all over the radio.” - Zeitgeist Magazine, Edinburgh
“'Should Have Known' has a 60's country feel courtesy of Buck Dilly's Hammond organ, the Beatles-y backing vocals and Harrison-alike guitar solo.” - MENSA's Feedback Magazine, U.K.
8. Please Tell Me (pop)
”'Please Tell Me' was awarded Record of the Year by Radio Six International in Glasgow
9. Smiling Faces (sunshine pop)
“'Smiling Faces' is Sunshine Pop - sounding like some long-lost San Francisco classic unearthed at last.” - British Independent Record Dealers' Magazine
“The sax on 'Smiling Faces' really gives it an edge...” “...and the joyous pop feel is carried through to 'Smiling Faces.'” - MENSA's Feedback Magazine, U.K.
10. No Doubt About It (easy pop)
“'No Doubt About It' is probably my favorite track on Verge because it is simple, easy to understand and quite light-hearted.” - Aly Woodhouse on Radio Six Intrenational, Glasgow
© 2004 - 2020 Liam Macdonald