J.J. McGuigan – Disconnected
Band/Artist: J.J McGuigan
by Michael Rand edited by Cyrus Rhodes and Drew Blackwell
Overall Rating: 2.5/5
Intro: This is the latest release from Wichita, Kansas native J.J. McGuigan entitled Disconnected (2012).
Review: “Disconnected” 4 song EP is his latest release and the result though far from a self-indulgent ego trip, rather a moving and elegiac artistic statement from start to finish. This is not your overly predictable Ramon Noodle “Sing-Songy” Nikelback-esque Rock band. Instead McGuigan could even be classed as a 3 genera band: Alternative Rock, Hard Rock and Progressive Rock. McGuigan has way too much precision and clarity to live in the shadows of overly-predictable Indie Rock-Pop. Indeed this is clearly evident in songs like “Disconnected” and “Rain” which methodically ups the ante to a very respectable level of catchy musical craftsmanship and addictive songwriting. The writing, playing and vocal intensity of McGuigan transcends pigeonholing. What’s more: the music is rock solid and has a jagged edge that holds the attentions span of the listener perfectly. In a nutshell this is Staind meets Disturbed. This 4 song line-up appeals to many listeners with a wide variety of musical styles – but it packs a powerful punch with an infectious voice for all the rockers out there who want something more than Nikelback, Daughtry or Lifeshouse.
Criticism: The biggest problem with the EP is not the music, not the performances – it’s the engineering aspect of it all. The overall production quality (recording, mixing, mastering) seems to be somewhat erratic, amateurish, and lackluster. This is especially true when played on high–end stereo systems. Typically all 3 production phases (Recording, Mixing, Mastering) should be handled by a separate music professional altogether. It takes engineering savvy to record, mix, and master a musical production to industry standards these days. The impact 3 separate engineers will have on your overall sound cannot be overstated. If this was 1979 this would be a state of the art, cutting edge musical production. Unfortunately its 2012 and the bar is set really high for independent artists like McGuigan. On a positive note if this CD was engineered properly (Recording, Mixing, Mastering) it would definitely be a 9 or a 10. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.
Top Songs: The songs that stuck with me the most were: Rain, and Disconnected.
REVERBNATION – http://www.reverbnation.com/jjmcguigan#!/artist/artist_songs/1199580
JANGO – http://www.jango.com/music/JJ+McGuigan?l=0
I would imagine in time we will hear more from this amazing artist as he refines and shapes his overall sound. No doubt McGuigan has made a good starting point with these 4 songs. I can honestly say this is one artist that clearly gives you a musical snapshot that is highly original, unique and dare I say full of an amazing amount of potential. He is clearly headed in the right direction as an Independent Artist.