I'm not sure what's going on with this guy, as no promo lit accompanied the disc, and his Facebook page is a welter of Twitter-type entries with zero accompanying data. Nonetheless, his mode is frequently an upbeat array of bright snappy pop tunes that reach from 60s folk to 80s alt and alt-reaction styles quite difficult to locate RIYLS for. I mean, practically no one is this often effervescent and positivistic, though there's a generous modicum of pensivity in minor chords and such. Ya might say the disc is reminiscent of Chad and Jeremy meet Jools Holland in a Gerry & the Pacemakers high side with Nuclear Valdez's sparkly jangly glow, Spencer Davis and Donovan looking on and lending advice.
Rolling Stone sure as hell ain't blues nor Village protest nor radio rokk but instead a troubadoric campaign to reassure the crestfallen, bolster confidence in fellow travelers, and spread the notion that individuality is pretty damned important…hence the release's title. There are quite a few admonitions as well, but it's not that MacLeod's pointing a finger but rather inviting a review of self-defeating behaviors, a matter of realistic hope. Over half the songs are dense but zippy, driving, propulsive. Ballads are not really his gig, but when he does slow down a bit, as in On the Other Side, there remains a vibrancy amid foggy ambiences imbuing energy rather than ennervation.
I don't mean to infer a Bangles genre of happy-pappy bubblegummy brainlessness to this disc at all, far from it. My favorite cut, Panic, is an eerie wistful number in which MacLeod gets drowned in viral sheeple paranoia, in the refusal of the herd to inspect the confusions flying all around it and calm the hell down, thus infecting even the stoic. Man, do I ever sympathize with THAT! So maybe it'd be best to typify Rolling Stone as one of those discs that meets folk and pop at the crossroads and wraps them both around a pole.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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