Mark Seymour – One Eyed Man
Mark Seymour’s excellent second solo album (2001).
Released In: [Australia / NZ].
Release Date: 12 March 2001
Australian Chart Position: 67 (ARIA).
Availability: Moderately common. Available new in digital form.
Highly recommended track.
Version: Mushroom Records Australian CD album.
Album length: 50 minutes, 27 seconds.
ReplayGain loudness: -7.61dB (2001).
- Don’t You Know Me?
- Blue Morning
- The Ballad Of The One Eyed Man
- Ready To Go
- Lost In Your Illusion
- Strange Little Town
- See You Around
- Long Way Down
- Always A Fool (For A Pretty Face)
- Sad Songs
- On My Way Home
- (bonus track)
Version: Mushroom Records Australian CD Promo.
EP length: 20 minutes, 24 seconds.
ReplayGain loudness: N/A.
With the band now well in the past, “One Eyed Man” is Mark Seymour’s second solo album, released on the 12th of March 2001. The direction for the new album was towards a more ‘pop’ sound with strong melodies and a far more personal touch than was ever possible before. The result is this varied but strangely cohesive masterpiece called “One Eyed Man”.
Mark’s first solo album was 1997’s “King Without A Clue”, released at a time when the future of Hunters and Collectors was unknown and the band was still together. More or less made on the run, the previous album was still tightly linked in with the old band. Now almost three years since the band split, Mark’s new album is unsurprisingly a completely different beast.
Mark’s friend the “One Eyed Man” is in reality a person who came across Mark in Kings Cross one night (Kings Cross backstreets + night = not good) and decided to rearrange him a bit. Track three, “The Ballad Of The One Eyed Man” is a ballad dedicated to this man.
The sound on “One Eyed Man” has reminded many a reviewer and fan of the sound of Crowded House. Most fascinating about this observation is the fact that it definitely sounds more ‘Crowded House’ than Neil Finn’s latest album “One Nil” (Neil was vocalist and lyricist of the Crowdies). The connection is there but it is not strong, a reflection of the general trend of people likening anything new to something old.
The vocal work on the album deserves particular mention. It is obvious from the first listen that a lot of work has been put in from Mark and album producer Daniel Denholm. This theory is backed up by Mark referring to many late nights perfecting his vocals where he would be yelling “Get me a beer you bastard” to Daniel in frustration.
Mark spent the two years leading up to this album touring predominantly with just an acoustic guitar. Hence the underpinning of a lot of the songs on One Eyed Man is a simple acoustic guitar, though a lot is layered over the top of this (particularly in the case of the more rocking tracks). The songs on One Eyed Man are therefore suited to solo performances as well as band touring.
The whole album is full of melodic hooks and covers a range of different topics centered on relationships but also covering his bashing, strange little towns, some political stuff and even jealousy at a Kylie Minogue gig.
The album combines a variety of different styles (reminiscent of the variety that can be found on, say, Cut) that are quite coherent as one overall work, mainly through effective use and mixing of Mark’s vocals. There are brilliant epic style rock tracks (Ballad Of The One Eyed Man, Sad Songs), faster pop rock tracks (Blue Morning, Long Way Down, Always A Fool), all out pop tracks (Don’t You Know Me?, On My Way Home) and even hints of folk influences (Ready To Go).
Top tracks on the album are “The Ballad Of The One Eyed Man”, “Blue Morning”, “Always A Fool (For A Pretty Face)” and “Sad Songs”. This given, there are no dud tracks and practically every song on the album could be a single. The reality is that this will not happen and without good exposure the true brilliance of this album may never be seen. As with most Hunters and Collectors albums, the strength is in the entire album rather than in two or three ‘hits’.
To close off the album, Mark Seymour threw in a little bonus track. As glad as one can be to find a bonus track, I wonder how he will ever distance his solo career from the particular song in question by making another version of it!. Despite this, the bonus track does fit in well with the melody, lyrics and emotion shown in the rest of the album.
“One Eyed Man” is a well-crafted pop rock album full of brilliant melodies featuring (debatably) the best vocals and lyrics from Mark Seymour to date. “One Eyed Man” is an exceptional album that the critics and fans alike both duly adore. An undeniably positive side of things to come from Mark Seymour, do yourself a favour and buy this album.
~ Stuart Fenech
Mark Seymour: singer, rhythm guitar and words.
Mazz: drums and percussion except on tracks 7 and 10.
Tony Floyd: drums on tacks 7 and 10.
Diamond Jim Kempster: bass guitars.
Rod Davies: keyboards and backing vocals.
All tracks produced and engineered by Daniel Denholm except tracks “2 and 6” which were produced and engineered by David Nicholas except : “ready to go” mixed by Daniel Denholm. Mastering engineer: Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk Corporation, New York City.
All tracks recorded at Sing Sing Studios, Melbourne.
Strings on “one eyed man” recorded at Festival Studio’s, Sydney.
Tracks 3, 7, 9, 10 mixed at 301 Studio’s, Sydney.
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12 mixed at Mangrove Recording Studio’s, Central Coast, NSW.
Design: Jo Vautier.
Photography: Anthony Geernaert.
I’d like to thank all who came to hear my songs.
Jo Vautier, Eva and Hannah Seymour, Michael Roberts, Ree Gleeson, Petal Bier, Daniel and Alessandra Keighley, Robert Miles, Daniel Denholm, David Nicholas, Mazz, Diamond Jim Kempster, Rod Davies, Tony Floyd, Tim Henwood, Nick Betterham, Cam Mckenzie, Michael Parisi, Jim “Dr. Guitar” Dyson, Geoff Crosby and Nick Murray for the Korg Synthesisers and anyone else who came ’round without phoning first!
Direction: Michael Roberts for Loud and Clear Management Pty Ltd,
PO Box 276 Albert Park 3206 Vic. Australia
Fax: 61 3 9537 1371