Mick McConnell, Under My Skin. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

When a set of songs gets under your skin, you tend to try and find the connections, what draws you to the great unknown, to the new and exciting prospect that has opened up before you like a flower feeling for the first rays of spring sun; sometimes those connections are obvious, you like a particular genre, it only follows suit that you should perhaps arguably like this new offering, yet for the most part that is not always the case. For all of us it surely is the thought of what gets Under My Skin makes me love you. .

Mick McConnell has taken what gets under his own skin, his own personal hide and shows it to the world; the hide becomes the seen, the flourished and the explained and yet thankfully the integrity of the musician is such that he still retains an air of magical mystery. The story of the itch, the burning desire underneath his skin is there but it is to the listener to try and glean the sense of responsibility he bares, the significance of the love that comes through in a way that is reminiscent to the great Glen Frey’s approach to bringing a song to life.

Bringing a song to fruition is a responsibility and one that benefits great care and attention, too often musicians forget that, as with all areas of life, great power comes with a liability should the project go wrong.

This is not something that can be laid at the door of Mick McConnell, the groove has got under his skin perfectly and it shows with resounding clarity in songs such as Man With A Smokin Gun, the superb No She Don’t…Like Country, Moods On A Rainy Day and Lock You Out. No She Don’t…Like Country is especially cool. It has the upbeat frame of mind that makes a song an instant hit but underneath it is a serious and conscious message to allow freedom of expression, a possibility that even in a narrow mind, you can try to cajole them onto other outlets of creative possibilities but in the end what matters is that their own skin is impenetrable to change.

It is in this response that Mick McConnell ushers in an album of great quality, superb introspection and one that gets under the skin.

Ian D. Hall