Perhaps best known for his work with Sheer Agony, Jackson MacIntosh is, it should be noted, a talented musician in his own right, and his album My Dark Side is considerable, although far from perfect, proof.
The album gets off to a fantastic start with ‘Can It Be Love.’ Completely stripped back, each and every word MacIntosh sings echoes with importance and power, making the song sound somewhat like an acoustic style anthem of sorts, and leaving those who hear it (this reviewer anyway) feeling incredibly positive and uplifted.
‘Lulu’ meanwhile, with its simple guitar rhythm blended with a classic rock undertone, sounds rather like a track from yester-year, rather than a modern day song, but that’s not a bad thing by any means. Instead, by bringing together elements of the past and modern day, MacIntosh creates something that may yet last through the ages, or at least for a couple of years.
If there’s any real weak point on the album, it comes via ‘I Wish I Could Feel Like I Used To.’ It feels disjointed and out of place, with only the instrumentation, notably some impressive riffs, saving it from being totally forgettable or at risk of being skipped over completely. The interlude that is ‘My Dark Side’ also struggles. While somewhat ‘fun’ (give it a listen to know what I mean), the piece itself is also very dark and heavy, with instrumentation that doesn’t quite fit together as perhaps it should.
Things pick up again thanks to ‘Pretty Clear’ and its 80’s feel that when mixed with undertones of indie-pop, should hopefully attract MacIntosh a few more fans of music of the genre, but it’s ‘Can’t Stop Holding On’ that’s the real winner on the second half of the album. Just the sounds that feature on the track are enough to make you feel somewhat intoxicated – in a good way – and as the music builds, so does the atmosphere. As it ends, you might just find yourself craving more.
It’s a shame therefore that the collection ends with ‘When To Turn The Lights Back On’. Stripped back, but not in quite the same way as ‘Can It Be Love’, it closes out the album on a somewhat subdued note and lacks that little extra something which would have given listeners that one, final emotional hit to make it stand out.
A diverse album that at times feels somewhat disconnected via its track-listing but is also full of depth, tone and ideas, My Dark Side serves as a testament to MacIntosh’s career so far and somewhat solidifies the foundations for a bright future.
My Dark Side is available now via Sinderlyn.