Scars was recorded in the summer of 2008, when the band was just a trio of guitar/voice, cello/piano & violin. It is an album full of vibrant, passionate music that moves from a powerful dramatic opener to an epic emotional ending. A collection of songs very close to songwriter Kevin Critchley's heart, you can hear the breadth of his musical influences across the album's 13 tracks. With intense world music flavours appearing in tracks such as Louise, Scars & Play It Cool through rock with Desire & Without Him to the cool jazzy vibes of Temptuous Eyes there's plenty of variety on show. Now a six-piece Kevin Critchley Outfit have fully realised the album's epic vision at live shows, delivering vibrant performances that are full of energy. Louise Steggals - Freeq magazine. For something done off their own backs, the Kevin Critchley Outfit's debut album "Scars" is an incredibly polished affair that swings from sultry melodies that make you think of hot, summer nights, through to more grandiose efforts that smack your eardrums into the wall. Sher - Host of "Sher Delight" & Music Director for HGRNJ.org I love their CD "Scars". It is full of energy and will get you up on your feet and dancing! Start listening to this CD, when you do, you won't want to stop!' Graham Holland - Liverpool Acoustic - liverpoolacoustic.co.UK CD Review: Kevin Critchley Outfit - Scars Back in the summer of 2006 I was at Alun Parry's Acoustic Slice event when a young man shoved an EP in my hand and said "Have a listen to this. You can play it on your show if you like it." That man was Kevin Critchley, and the E.P. was called Think It Over. So when I climbed into the car to head home I slipped the E.P. into my car's CD player and pressed 'play'. And I was blown away by what I heard! The energy, power, and passion in the four tracks on that E.P. were astounding, the musicianship was top class, and the songs were very well-written. Therefore when I heard that Kevin was in the studio recording a full length CD I was rather excited. After all, since 2006 Kevin Critchley has transformed into the Kevin Critchley Outfit by adding a combination of regular and guest musicians to create an even bigger and better sound than before. Of the thirteen songs on Scars many of them are in the KCO's distinctive signature style. Tracks such as Caves, Scars, Without Him, Abuse, and Play It Cool, are minor key, dark, powerful, brooding, and perfect for Luke Moore's cello and Josie Pearce's viola and violin. Cushioned Walls deviates from this template only far enough to add an underlying piano track. Desire is in the same vein, and as an opening track is the perfect introduction to the KCO sound for anyone new to their music. And if you close your eyes to listen to Louise you'll be instantly transported to the bazaars of Marrakesh or the markets of Old Baghdad. If, following Louise, you were to keep your eyes closed while you listened to the next track, Temptuous Eyes, you'd find yourself plucked off the streets and deposited very firmly into a late-night lounge bar. The excellent, Temptuous Eyes contains all the classic elements for such a song - soft percussion, syncopated rhythm, muted trombone solo, sultry vocals. The KCO sound is nothing if not versatile, and the album's second track Sunshine is, as the name suggests, a great summer song. In a style reminiscent of Katrina and the Waves, or the Brand New Heavies, Sunshine has the potential to become a massive summer radio hit given the right support and a bit of luck. While you're at it, you might as well add My Love to the same category - songs to brighten your day. Finally, Thank You is a beautiful piano ballad with string accompaniment. And the album finishes with the haunting Tranquility. So far I've mentioned the songs, the instruments, the music, and the different styles, but the common factor that pulls them all together is Kevin's incredible voice. His vocal range is stunning and never forced, and his singing can move from powerful and passionate to gentle and forgiving, sometimes even within the same song. 'fully-charged' is probably the best way I can think of to describe KCO's music. I just want to know how many guitar strings Kevin broke while recording the CD!
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