22 May 2022

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Michael Llewellyn - Album Review: Oh My Darling

14 Oct 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser

Even though the press for Michael Llewellyn’s Oh My Darling album describe it as "a break up album in its purest", it seems he may have worked through some of the heartache and misery by the time he recorded it.

It begins with the up-tempo Doolie, which sounds like a new romance beginning, full of love and hope. Another Guy follows, and it is definitely a break up song; the protagonist has been left for someone else, and is pissed off about it, describing the successful suitor as a "mother fucker".

The recording and performances are sumptuous, and the whole album has a peaceful easy feeling, which puts the listener at ease.

Llewellyn has a gift for writing pop songs, each tune is well composed, obeying every rule of traditional pop composition. I can really hear Whangamata being played at beach parties over summer.

Lover brings the tempo down as he describes the memory of looking into his lover’s eyes. It is more pronounced on this track, but throughout the album is sounds like he’s recorded his softly spoken vocals with a decent microphone using ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) techniques, designed to send shivers up a person’s spine.

Interlude is exactly that, a short collection of found sound; bird song, walking and beach sounds.

In the album’s press Michael Llewellyn says he’s influenced by Leonard Cohen and the Velvet Underground, and it really shows on the last tune Lady Bug, especially in spoken word prose, practically narrating the song, instead of singing it.

Oh My Darling is due to come out, with links on Soundcloud due to go live on October 8th, and he’s due to hit the road across the north island from October 30 to November 13.

There are some real moments on this album, but it doesn’t grab me over all. While he can sing in tune, I wouldn’t write home about his overall strength of presence.              

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Michael Llewellyn

Soft & raspy, poetic & bouncy, Michael Llewellyn is a Poneke based songwriter contrived primarily from butterscotch and smoke. With his debut album Oh My Darling set to be released later this year. Michael Llewellyn has been gently building. After a couple of years based in Taranaki, tracking demos and dancing with a broken body he’s now set up in Poneke. Inspired by the likes of Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen his music is vulnerable and honest. Carried by an infectious groove, crunchy guitars and gritty vocals, Michael Llewellyn along with his five piece backing band packs a punch.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Michael Llewellyn


Oh My Darling
Year: 2021
Type: Album

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