‘Keep The Tape Rolling‘ is the forthcoming debut EP from Irish singer / songwriter Ian Brennan which will be released on Friday March 25th 2016. However, before the official release date – the man himself decided to send us in a protected copy of his new material in the hope that we might review it. Well… you’ve guessed it, we did. So, thanks Ian.
For an unsigned artist in this day and age, it’s quite hard to make an impression on the music scene unless you’ve got some seriously good talent. Lucky enough for Ian Brennan, he’s got something. Not only is this an EP which highlights that he’s a young man who wears his heart on his sleeve, but it’s an EP which also highlights that this musician is still trying to find his sound – and that’s a good thing in some ways.
Opening track and lead single ‘Game Over‘, is a track which immediately proves that the production and musicianship on this EP is far from amateur. Reminiscent of ‘Indian Summer’ by Stereophonics, ‘Game Over‘ is the lyrical equivalent of something which you would expect to hear from the likes of Goo Goo Dolls or Counting Crows but yet it is an offering which lets us know that Ian Brennan has carefully sculpted a storytelling approach to songwriting. ‘Game Over‘ is a very personal and truthful opening but not the best track on the EP.
‘You & I‘ is by far the masterpiece of this EP. Residng as track #2 on ‘Keep The Tape Rolling‘, this really should have been the lead single. To put things into perspective, if Chris Martin ever woke up hungover to discover the lyrics of ‘You & I‘ by his bedside, there is no doubt that he would head straight into the studio to lay it down as a future Coldplay single. Maybe Ian Brennan went out with Gwyneth Paltrow too… who knows? Although it lacks some orchestral keys / strings and harmonising backing vocals, ‘You & I‘ is a track which is worthy of stadium anthem status if it falls into the right ears. In fact, someone needs to sign Ian Brennan now for this track alone.
Unfortunately for the latter, ‘All Feels The Same‘ is a track which didn’t quite find the correct path in the studio. Sounding very early ’90′s, it doesn’t represent the Ian Brennan we hear on the opening tracks. Maybe his band had more involvement here but ‘Talk Of The Town‘ also replicates this.
Although it’s not a cohesive unit… Based on the above, this is still a mighty fine debut from a singer songwriter who is completely capable of writing a smash hit. Based on ‘You & I‘ and ‘Game Over‘ alone, the rating for this EP favours greatly.
Brendan Mc Elroy