Out Calls Only

Album Review of Out Calls Only by Donald Cumming.

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Out Calls Only

Donald Cumming

Out Calls Only by Donald Cumming

Release Date: Jun 16, 2015
Record label: Washington Square
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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Out Calls Only - Mediocre, Based on 3 Critics

The Guardian - 60
Based on rating 3/5
60

“I don’t listen to a lot of contemporary music,” Donald Cumming has said, and his first solo album certainly backs up his assertion. After fronting the Virgins, one of the post-Killers bands who never made it, he’s embraced rock classicism with a passion: there’s quite a bit of Tom Petty in Out Calls Only, a certain amount of mellow late-60s rock (especially on the seven-minute centrepiece, Scarecrow), and a dash of confessional singer-songwriter material (as on the closer, Spanish Horses). Even the cover looks like a period piece, as if he’d tried to cross Darkness on the Edge of Town and Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly.

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Record Collector - 40
Based on rating 2/5
40

The first solo record from Donald Cumming, former singer with New York post-punk upstarts The Virgins, comes across as an over-polished homage to mid-career Bruce Springsteen. Though boasting some potentially good songs (Shadow Tears and the epic, Eagles-esque Scarecrow, which could have been a 70s desert-rock classic), the slick production sucks much of the life from the album. Workin’ It Out switches things up with Bryan Ferry-ish vocal turns and slight disco bass interludes that point toward a more energetic song lurking underneath it all, but, as with the album in general, it’s devoid of the grit of another East Coast touchstone, Jonathan Richman.

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New Musical Express (NME)
Their review was positive

You know about the big releases each week, but what about those smaller albums which may have passed underneath your radar. Don’t miss out on the smaller, lesser-known gems which might become some of your favourites. We’ve rounded up seven of the best new album releases from this week: catch up ….

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