Northern Irish act Our Krypton Son (Chris McConaghy) released his début, self-titled album a little over a month ago. It’s the latest musical venture from McConaghy after a stint with Red Organ Serpent Sound. Having spent some time touring in Germany under his own name, he decided to take on the backing of four other musicians to record the album and became Our Krypton Son.
They kick things off with the poetic, pulsating When I First Lay Dreaming. A radio friendly folk tune that packs a passionate punch, it’s the perfect opening track to any album. The impressive beginning continues with Gargantuan, a piano led track reminiscent of Duke Special in its composition. McConaghy’s vocals are a breath of fresh air throughout the record but especially on this track where he hits a variety of notes with minimal effort. Season In Hell is a toe-tapping Fleet Foxes-esque number and is by far the best track on the album.
Unfortunately, after that, ‘Our Krypton Son’ heads on a downward spiral. The musical variety on display in the opening four tracks fades into obscurity with every passing song as they begin to sound increasingly similar. It’s a shame because lyrically the songs are stunning throughout the record. They cover every theme imaginable, a clear indication of both McConaghy’s vast experience as well as his creative genius. Second last track I’ll Never Learn To Say Goodbye redeems the album somewhat. A dark yet powerful song in which McConaghy bares his innermost thoughts and feelings for all to see.
Undoubtedly, Our Krypton Son‘s début album is a solid one which displays plenty of potential but regrettably that potential isn’t utilised enough. If McConaghy and co had managed to harness it, we could have been looking at one of the albums of the year but they didn’t and as a result ‘Our Krypton Son’ will be forever resigned to the ‘what could have been’ pile.