It’s hard to feel real empathy with the current crop of emotional singer-songwriters flooding the Irish scene at present. Wave after wave of sonic indifference has left the more enlightened listener shrugging their shoulders. We’re in a phase of quantity rather than quality. There are exceptions but they have to scream to be heard. While the emotion of these songs may indeed be genuine it remains a huge ask to relate when such messages are being engulfed in a blanket of mediocrity.
Perhaps it’s unfair to dump Deco Greene in such a musical vacuum. He has a very strong singing voice and the recordings are lush for what is essentially a lo-fi affair, but too often the emotion seems contrived. Things kick off with title track Breathe and that’s more or less how it remains for the entire EP. There are nice piano and string arrangements but they merely act as a diversion to a core starved of imagination.
Things do get better briefly. Release is a more upbeat affair and is by a long way the best track on offer. Complete with some well executed harmonies it shows that there is potential for much more from Greene. That said, perhaps the most disappointing factor of ‘Breathe’ is how quickly it reverts to type, sputtering to an eventual halt. There is promise here, but the main problem is that all the talents within ‘Breathe’ are to the foreground. He has an ear for a melody and a fantastic voice, but it’s when you scratch the surface that you realise you’ve already reached the bottom and the reality hits that the songwriting just isn’t strong enough.