Howlspace One Eyed Man Review

Positive review of “One Eyed Man”.

Author: Ed. Nimmervoll.

Date: 16 February 2001

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Article Text

Album of the week – 16/02/2001

Imagine Bono permanently stepping out of U2. That’s the herculerian task the solo Mark Seymour has set himself. For years he was one part of a powerful unit, Hunters And Collectors, Mark its vocal and lyrical core. And then that Australian musical institution saw no adventurous way forward and decided to go of its own accord rather than fade away. In the middle of that self-destruction Mark Seymour released a first solo album, something that had been in his mind for a long time, but somehow there was never enough time. Now it was important. The result, ‘King Without A Clue’ was dark and stark, sounding like it was, the Hunters singer naked musically, intense and in your face, desperate to be heard. Three years on, the Hunters is behind him and Mark Seymour has zeroed in on his personal strengths, an ability to write a goddam good song – melodically and lyrically – and sing it with passion. With his second solo album he has managed to flip the coin on the first. The songs outshine the intensity. It’s also as if suddenly a whole lot of other musical solutions opened up to him, both as a songwriter and as a singer. ‘See You Around’ (written with Daryl Braithwaite) sounds like something some testosterone-fuelled harmonizing boy band should grab to score themselves a big hit. The single ‘Don’t You Know Me?’ is not worlds away from a Crowded House style tortured love song. ‘Ready To Go’ (about deaths in custody) is the kind of urgent roots rock found on ‘King Without A Clue’. The musical spectrum has broadened dramatically, with the essential Mark Seymour still uncompromisingly at the core. The songs all have something to say. Threading though the traditionally intelligent lyrics is the tempestuous relationship between man and woman, the Mark Seymour staple. At the end of the album he throws in a ‘hidden’ new version of ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’. With the twelve strong and varied new performances which have preceded it, Mark lets us know that he doesn’t need to shrink away from the song which shadows his career. The Hunters may have wanted to get out from under that shadow. The solo Mark Seymour doesn’t need to. Songs like ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ are his stock in trade. With ‘One Eyed Man’ Mark Seymour claims his territory.