MEG MAC Low Blows gets 7.5/10

Meg Mac
Low Blows
EMI

7.5/10

Meg Mac has returned in a blaze of style that’s clean cut, magnified and deeply embedded into her debut album Low Blows. The collection of songs draws from the golden voice of an artist who is familiar with the glimmer of victory. Australian music smash success has danced on her horizons more than once with two platinum singles, Roll Up Your Sleeves and Never Be, alongside multiple entries into triple j’s Hottest 100.

Rolling Stone had Low Blows picked as one of Australia’s most anticipated albums of 2017 but the suspense of her first collective work could not have braced us for what the Melbourne based independent Aussie soulstress had in store. Nearly every moment of Low Blows glows with confidence and has swiftly taken the #2 position on the ARIA Album Chart. Collectively what can be heard are thoughtful lyrics stripped back to tenderly expose emotion without pretense, and fine-tuned vocals which have taken it up a notch. Unabashedly old school, Meg Mac’s album is simplistic in the finest form but niggles on the edges of uniformity. The only annoyance is that because her voice is so powerful, so forthright and so demanding of spirit, it becomes tiresome by track 10.

Grace Gold swings the door wide open to introduce a newly polished artist who is ready to make her statement. The track makes for a grand first impression although doesn’t necessarily stand as a distinctive highlight of the album. Grace Gold acts as an entre; it provokes interest but doesn’t yet unleash all the satisfaction of what’s to come.

Dark and gritty, Ride It is a track where Meg Mac’s character emerges fearless. “I’ve got seven words to fight it; I’ve got a uniform to hide it,” she sings with a vigour that snaps the listener back from any loitering in the slower songs on the album.

Low Blows and Maybe It’s My First Time were both released as singles prior to the launch of the album. Both tracks have experienced extensive radio support for their toe-tapping goodness and dig deep into Mac’s ability to transport her listeners through story-telling lyrics. These tracks embody the personal growth of Meg Mac as an artist and seemingly as a person.

Didn’t Wanna Get So Low But I Had To comes smack bang in the middle at number five, initiating all the feels to make it a knockout track. The song swings the listener along the spectrum of Meg Mac’s magnificent vocal range from delicate to powerful and squeezes out every moment of the pain that led her to prosperity.

The album as a whole heats up quickly, paying homage to classic retro-soul while her personal edge is distinctively interjected throughout. In her absence from the music scene she’s learned to unfold thought and emotion insightfully. At times the album is somewhat domineeringly, stamped with the Meg Mac style and making for an overbearing listen as a whole. However, the collection of tunes is polished and poised with the air of an artist far beyond their debut album.

SARAH DAY

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