Monaghan native Jim McHugh is back with his third album, the two previous albums have already gathered a list of supporters for his sound and has got past that worrying second album tricky stage of your career. ‘Pretending to Wake Up’ will provide the Irishman with the chance to showcase the folk rock smooth style he has grown to be known for, as well as the lyrical history of exploring past relationships and the awkwardness of the thing we humans become obsessed with called love.
The track ‘Dave’ kicks off the proceedings, it’s a correct choice as it has smooth and moody tones which has guitar riffs which gives it real life and a punchy feel when it comes to the chorus. It is massively important to make a statement with your first track as nowadays with the throw away culture formed around music which doesn’t catch your ears within seconds, but this is out the park for a home run from the very start.
Following on from the opening track, ‘Shut your mouth’ has the same interesting tones and favour as ‘Dave’ the album has already taken on a feel good, free feeling vibe.
‘Her Love no doubt’ was put on this album to show the diverse ability Jim is able to shape his music and sound, but unfortunately it sounds like a regretful letter to a former lover which would never be convincing enough to come back after listening to this track, more likely convince them that they had done the thing in the first place.
Thankfully Jim is back with the next song, with the rockier rhythm that some will already be accustomed with the lead up single to this album ‘Hey Jimbo’. You can tell why this track was picked as an insight to the album as it has all the good qualities in the song to display what you have to look forward to within this album.
With a skin chilling guitar note section ‘Sister Brother’ has a dark and foreboding tone running in its veins. A real change in direction within the album and a note of the way Jim can design his words in ways to show his true emotion.
‘Such a Cow’ leaves this collection of music with a show of confrontation at the end of the album, there’s a Weezer/ Wheatus feel about the track. A tongue in check argument shaped around a teenager's care free sound it’s instrumental playing.
Written by Kess Anthony