In a climate where singer-songwriters receive kudos for regurgitating the same old, it comes as a breath of fresh air when artists like Jeremy Warmsley arrive on the scene; musicians who don’t peddle the same contrived pop-folk, while rebelling against the whole nature of the singer-songwriter mass-popularity contest. However, this isn’t a review of the new Jeremy Warmsley single, but instead a piece on the Shibuya Crossings debut album.
To fill you in, Shibuya Crossings is the brainchild of singer songwriter Declan Harrington – the newest indie-dullard in the singer-songwriter ‘scene’, recalling the days of ‘Angels’-era Robbie Williams for Songs For Lovesick Teenagers.
With two song titles containing the word ‘dead’, you’d be right in thinking that Shibuya Crossings’ songs deal heavily with melancholy. Sadly, Declan Harrington’s dull vocals really strip the songs of any real emotion, rendering each generic indie-rock song just another, well, generic indie-rock song. Perhaps the lyrics would work better in context of a different genre - perhaps a sad, wistful folk record, or a despondent country album.
If there was to be any redeeming feature on this album, it would be the musicianship. Sadly, that pales too: the backing band play like amateur session musicians, and there just isn’t enough passion in the arrangements to elevate this above the level of background music.
If Declan Harrington’s Shibuya Crossings breaks into the mainstream, expect your office radio to become the bane of your very existence.
4Ben Yates's Score