Review: ‘Hourglass’ – Murray McLauchlan

McLauchlan’s greatest relationship on this album is with the pedal steel – his beautiful lyrics and vocal melodies set to soaring pedal steel is what makes this album truly stand out. It is a deep record that explores current affairs such as systematic racism and economic disparity. The Juno Award winners 20th studio album is perhaps his finest. Songs such as Pandemic Blues acts as a comfort to all as it acknowledges the suffering and loneliness the pandemic has caused so many. The simplicity of the lyrics puts life into perspective and helps the message become more easily digestible. If Youre Out There Jesus addresses McLauchlan’s atheism but considers what hed say to God if he was religious. The sparse production makes way for his raspy vocals that are filled with emotions of desperation and doubt as he tentatively explores the notion of God and Jesus. Again, the pedal steel is McLauchlans friend on this one. The album concludes with the bright, positive vibes of Wishes, a stand out track on the album that simply states what McLauchlan would like from the world, many of the things he lists ring true for most of us making it another relatable and thought provoking song. The album feels much like a simple request of what we need to do better as a society all set to swooning pedal steels and arpeggiated acoustic guitars. 

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Zoe Hodges,
Editor, Maverick Magazine

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