This quite unassuming disc has some of the best finger picking I’ve heard in a long time. Mr. MacRae puts forth a simple, yet powerful vocal style over the kind of precise note placement that calls to mind classical Spanish guitar. But this is no rose-under-the-lip backdrop for a woman in a tight dress out to stomp your heart, but a dark Celtic attitude with flickering drums and the occasional minor chord arising where you least expect it.
Small glimmers of romance occasionally reflect off the fret board (“Hollywood”), but the depressed lament of the repressed worker (“Future Days”) seems to get more of MacRae’s energy. The lyrics express a deep humanity and lie evenly against his precise playing. Nothing intentionally showy here, but that’s not to diminish the skill and heart of this new performer. MacRae is the sort of musician who draws you in and steals your soul. Don’t make him give it back.