Album review: TRISTAN MACKAY – Invisible Light

TRISTAN MACKAY – Invisible Light

Website [Release date 14.02.19]

Following the incredibly good ‘Out Along the Wire’, with its breezy Eric Clapton unplugged vibe which was a showcase for Tristan Mackay’s electric guitar playing and the second album ‘Wire and Wood’, which was a darker more acoustic fair that veered into more singer/songwriter – dare I say it Sheeran territory  – be it with a more serious themes of loss and the responsibilities of childbirth. We now have the Kickstarter funded third album which does feel like a loose part of a trilogy is ‘Invisible Light’.

At the start we enter the album with a very short intro song titled ‘We Found Love’,  is a Mackay trademark which he is known for, but then the album goes in a different direction than the previous two albums. It is still very much Tristan but more of him being his own man, less being compared to Clapton, Knopfler and Sheeran that you will see mentioned in a myriad of reviews for the two-iTunes number one blues charting albums released before.

The production is very modern and the songs balance between modern blues and popular singer/songwriter styles of music with Tristan’s electric guitar playing being once again utilised on several songs, ‘Diane’ being of note.

Mr. Mackay has three trump cards, things he does very well…his voice, his guitar and his song writing. In regard to his singing and guitar playing he never oversells either and this tempering of his talents for the greater good of his craft produces work of quiet beauty like ‘Wordless Whisper’. The title track has a more traditional blues sound and his closest stab at the swampy delta blues is the magnificent ‘Only Human’ with its warm atmosphere is quite wonderful.

Tristan Mackay is never hard rock or even rock for that matter, but his musical skills and song writing make his body of work acceptable in a rocker’s quieter moments.

Tristan’s most Tristan sounding album to date.  It is an album of a man nailing his own sound and the path ahead looks very promising! ****1/2

Review by Martin David Porter


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