Words by Anna Stephens
Colgan’s latest album "Last Boat To St. Helena" is a return to his alternate rock roots, demonstrating his musicianship once more where he has produced, arranged & performed on all tracks. The album will be released via Ronny Anderson’s Hummdrumm records (Anderson is also a co-writer, having penned a number of the lyrics for the album).
For Martin Colgan, the guitar is central to his musical practice. He studied flamenco and classical guitar in Scotland under the teachings of the legendary French virtuoso Manitas de Plata. Moreover, he can also play cello, piano, violin and numerous other instruments, as well as sing fluently in Italian, Spanish and French. Colgan is not your average musician! Martin has taken on many challenges in his career including the arrangement and vocal performance of Vincenzo Bellini's masterpiece "Fenesta Che Lucive" which features on the soundtrack for the film "Lords of London" starring Ray Winstone.
All in all, there are 17 tracks on the album. ‘Flame’ is a beautiful opening track with a classic pop rock feel, including gorgeous vocal arrangement and Colgan’s signature rich guitar melodies. ‘Street Chant’ is a little different with an unusual intro made up of percussive elements and a chant-style vocal, as well as samples of street sounds. The song then erupts into a luscious heart-felt ballad. ‘Skydive’ has piano at its core, as well as guitar, in a dramatic ode to embracing the unknown. Lead track and number 4 on the album is the titular ‘Last Boat To St. Helena’ which seems like a shanty song together with elements of Dire Straits and Fleetwood Mac.
Other stand-out moments for us include the ethereal Bowie-esque opening for ‘Do It Again’, before erupting into an iconic-sounding pop rock anthem. ‘Aurora’ has some truly beautiful classical guitar and a truly stand-out lead vocal which reminds us of Sting, with a brooding chord progression. Martin comments on the track: “Aurora is about Heaven, A crystal fountain of unending love”. ‘City People’ is full of sass and attitude, with an insatiable swing feel, whilst ‘The Race’ picks up the pace a little. Another personal fave of ours is ‘Love Me The I Am’ which is full of angst and passion in the lead vocal. All in all, there is something for everyone in this album, and it will truly capture the attention of ages young and old.
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