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Album: Eugene McGuinness, The Invitation to the Voyage (Domino)


Eugene McGuinness has never been one to use a ukulele when he could employ a full orchestra, but on The Invitation to the Voyage he badly over-eggs sometimes slight material.

The best tracks are those on which producer Clive Langer is involved, imposing a sense of musical logic: "Harlequinade" blends electropop with strings and horns, swaying enticingly over a ticking railroad rhythm; and on "Lion", rockabilly twang and handclaps drive a stream-of-consciousness confrontation with boredom.

The paean to club culture "Shotgun" makes good use of a "Peter Gunn" sample, but sadly, the album's overall theme – of plucking moments of enjoyment from everyday mundanity – is too often buried under the welter of distracting horns, keys, strings and drum programmes.