Jack McManus

Either Side of Midnight

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The second track, "Bang on the Piano," was the first single released from Jack McManus' debut album, Either Side of Midnight, and this description could also be used for the opening track, "Milky Way," which opened with a Keane-inspired piano thumping, as did "She's Gone" and "Not the Hardest Part." While people have suggested that he is the successor to Elton John and Billy Joel as a contemporary singer/songwriter, quite a few of the songs were in the style of Robbie Williams without the cheeky, mischievous lyrics, especially the songs "You Think I Don't Care," "Too Much of Yesterday," and "You Can Make It Happen." Some depth was shown on the final track, "Amy," but the Beatles had included strings of this sort on "Eleanor Rigby" 40 years previously. One can compare Jack McManus to many current acts including the Feeling, James Blunt, and James Morrison, but despite the feel-good nature of the songs, there was a feeling that McManus was not actually enjoying his own music, and that was the main problem with this album. It was inoffensive, pleasant, and melodic but unmemorable and mostly emotionless. Nevertheless, at the end of the 2000s there was a massive market for this type of inoffensive pop, as shown by the sheer number of other artists and singers who come to mind when listening to this album. McManus will either join this bandwagon or be swallowed alive when the musical mood of the world changes.

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