Eric McGrath


Little Ripples White Cliff Records**

Jack Johnson has a lot to answer for. Acoustic guitars? Ukuleles? Jaunty love songs? Eric McGrath’s debut album certainly aligns with the Hawaiian surfer dude’s school of songwriting. That’s not to be completely dismissive of the Dubliner, though. Much of Little Ripples is completely listenable, even if too many of its 11 songs are almost indistinguishable.

The jazzy stance adopted on several tracks (such as the swinging pomp of These Are the Good Old Days and the sweetly strummed Carousel) is pleasant but overplayed, making it doubly disappointing that McGrath doesn’t plunder the darker depths of love more often. The off-centre Before You Left, a piano number that marries Duke Special’s theatricality with a blurred, shifting sonic backdrop, does so brilliantly. Perhaps next time.

Download tracks:Before You Left, These Are the Good Old Days