The Late David Turpin: Romances review – a riposte to culture of toxic masculinity
The Late David Turpin
David Turpin has always been an ambitious artist, willingly combining art with a sense of theatre and showmanship; for him, pop music has never been just about the song.
On past releases, however, his songwriting skills have arguably been overshadowed by pomposity and frustrating showboating. The Dublin musician and screenwriter finds redemption in his latest endeavour, in which he ‘casts’ ten male vocalists to sing his “romantically-fixated after-hours love songs”; essentially, his riposte to the culture of toxic masculinity.
This approach works beautifully. Dundalk artist Elephant brings a winsome tenderness to Concubine; the seductive, sultry disco-pop of Love Shrine and the soulful title track (featuring Nigerian-Irish artist Xona) are highlights, while Kalikrates brazenly asks ‘Will you bite me? Will you hold me?’
Elsewhere, Sack’s Martin McCann pitches a love song between God and Satan on Lucifer and Conor O’Brien covers little-known 1970s folk song Couldn’t Do Without. The most impressive track here is the superb Which Way the Wind, which combines a ‘60s spy soundtrack’ vibe with an eerie synthpop-addled beat, courtesy of Jaime Nanci and Bear Worship.
Perhaps Turpin’s true calling is as a writer, rather than a singer, of pop songs par excellence. Thelatedavidturpin.com