MDM got an early copy of Scott Mulvahill’s debut album and I sat down for a listen. My first impression was the apparent fact that Mulvahill, a UNT school of music graduate for bass is a very talented musician. Mulvahill's guitar skills are commendable and I love the tone of Gavin Kelso's bass on tracks like “Let Me Be that Man” and the catchy “Are You With Me.”
The first half of the forty minute long self-titled album has a soft emotional tone that is focused mainly on pop rock bringing to mind throwbacks like Ben Folds Five or Hootie and the Blowfish. While the second half, beginning at “Are You With Me,” turns it up a notch and gains a bit more aggressiveness. Mulvahill has a talent for switching between genres as heard in the blues rock tune “Tell Me Today.”
While the album is mastered extremely well and the band is skilled at sounding clean and always on time, it sadly lacks something. The songs range from moody to rocking but they are a style of pop that is so radio friendly one could see some of these songs appearing in the next Disney movie. The album never manages to get in your face or call you to question life or other music you’ve heard before. It just fits too nicely in between pop rock and Christian rock. Some people absolutely love this type of music and can’t get enough of it, yet I do not.
Music is an art that needs to expand ever outward and seek new ground. This album seems like it does not cover new ground, instead it looks backwards and pays tribute to classic rock and blues (which isn’t always a bad thing) but it stays in its comfort zone too much. It never feels like Mulvahill delved into his dark side for the album.
That’s the bad news, but the good news is that if this music is your cup of tea, you will love it. You can catch Mulvahill with a full band at his Denton CD release show this Saturday, March 5th at Hailey’s with the Virgin Wolves and Luke Wade and No Civilians.