In a very capable third recorded outing, Southampton singer-songwriter Owen Hackett gives us an enjoyable EP release.
First up is the tale of insecurity and uncertainty 'How can I tell', pointing the way to Owens' burgoning talent as a wordsmith. We've all been there.
Newly penned Free reminds a little of Morriseys' Boxers before morphing more towards Dylan with a tiny smidgeon of Oasis' Whatever featuring Hacketts' guitar up front and centre. However the influence of producer Jack Wilson arrives later with a more 'bandy' sound making it's presence felt.
Third track on the EP, Rain is strong enough to survive comparison with the slower and less produced Ed Sheeran ballads before transforming into an almost French sounding tale of loss, (nothing wrong with French) further impressing.
Our regular reader well know of the deep man-love for Fearne and Track four of Owens' tome provides arguably the most Bedrijczuk sounding song of the collection. 'Song for a friend' gives us more of the excellent guitar work and storytelling that fans of OH have come to expect. This one is probably my favourite on the collection but ask me on another day and it might be Free.
Owen reports that this album has been a labour of love following his move off to university in Newport (Wales not Isle of Wight) and from my point of view it has certainly been worth it.
The disc finale 'Secrets' is again a contender for 'most Fearne sounding song' and it begins pared down and simple but contains a heart rending story, written from experience? Maybe.
Criticism? Well none really, which probably speaks to what could be said to be the issue with the album which is the lack of hooks in the songs. All are good and largely inoffensive but it may be an idea to shake it up a bit. Put stuff in that not everyone will like but that some people will fall in love with. This shouldn't be overstated though, this is a good EP.
Overall this is a very nice collection of simple yet well crafted songs that speak to the heart and deserve to be heard. I'd suggest checking them out on soundcloud, downloading of bandcamp or finding Owen at a gig and having a listen and buying a CD off him.
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