Lot of Living to Do
Scottish singer and songwriter Amy Macdonald is already a veteran performer at the age of 21; however, her debut album This Is The Life proves that she still has some growing up to do.The production values, instrumentation, and melodies on the album are polished and mature, placing Macdonald apart from her peers as someone who is at least attempting to be a serious musician, not just the flavor of the month. Unfortunately, most of the music is unremarkable, merely inoffensive, and songs never elevate beyond lyrical content, which is where Macdonald’s inexperience is most obvious.
Macdonald wrote “Youth of Today” when she was only 15, so the listener may forgive lyrics like “We are the youth of today / Change our hair in every way,” but on more recent compositions it is clear she needs to work on her poetry.
Because of its strong influence from Las Vegas’ The Killers, “Run” sounds instantly familiar with powerful, urgent music during the chorus. But Macdonald repeatedly rhymes “no more” with itself, showing she has not outgrown her lack of imagination. Still, the music carries the song, making it one of the better tracks on the album.
Macdonald also has the habit of telling stories about characters, rather than herself, which prevents the listener from being fully engaged and making a personal connection with the songs or with her as a singer.
Most of the songs are catchy and the lyrics unobtrusive enough that This Is The Life is a fun listen. Macdonald still has time to work on the lyrics, and perhaps once she has had more experiences which she can share with her audience, her lyrics will improve. Until then, just enjoy the sound.