It’s been five years since Scottish singer/songwriter (and race-car fanatic) Amy Macdonald last released an album and in that span, much has changed in the world, but for better or for worse, little has changed with Amy.
Her brand of upbeat melodic guitar pop songs shine through on Under Stars, a record packed with motivational songs of following your dreams, breaking free from restraints, and knowing what you need to do to be happy. Right from the album’s opener, Dream On, where she sings “Live on/dream on/I’m on top of the world and I’m on the right track,” to the closer From The Ashes and the line “The sky above he earth below/Fire within me/let it glow”, Amy encourages positivity.
She sticks close to the cliches that have carried much of her previous work, but the focus of her music has never been heavily on the lyrics, rather the melody and determination in her performance. Her voice remains fantastic and the hooks continue to be epic and infectious, but if those aren’t enough, her drive will be. She puts her heart into every word of every line – and that matters.
With that said, Amy could afford to add some diversity to her sound. Her 2007 debut album This Is The Life remains her most varied with a range of influences that are increasingly absent from subsequent albums. With Under Stars, you get much of the same as her last two records, 2010’s A Curious Thing and Life In A Beautiful Life from 2012, although it’s fair to say Under Stars outranks both with its consistency and high powered hooks.
Full disclosure: I’m certain it’ll be my most played record this year.
1. Dream On
2. Under Stars
4. Down By The Water
5. Leap Of Faith
6. Never Too Late
7. The Rise & Fall
8. Feed My Fire
9. The Contender
10. Prepare To Fall
11. From The Ashes