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'To Leave/To Be Left'   

-  Label: 'At The Helm Records'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '13th October 2017'-  Catalogue No: 'ATH199021'

Our Rating:
From the cover image, Robbie Cavanagh looks like an archetype sensitive singer songwriter but these confident songs are a notch above introspective soul searching.

A full band sound gives a vitality and momentum where necessary to what are, at their core, soulful folk-driven ballads.

Cavanagh's second album was produced by Roo Walker in Manchester, England and was mostly recorded in one take in an attempt to replicate a live feel. This ties in with the artist's abiding belief that "the more you wrestle with an idea and try to change it, the more contrived it becomes".

The first couple of tracks - Get Out Alive and Godsend - give the impression that this is going to be a fairly rock-orientated album but, after these, the mood becomes markedly more subdued.

This shift in tone reflects a more cautious perspective on affairs of the heart. In Scars the singer bemoans the futility of love while in Fool he laments that "without you I'm nothing".

A default condition of lovesickness makes the song themes somewhat repetitive and a little sentimentality inevitably rears its head.

For the most part, though, Cavanagh manages to avoid the usual pitfalls that go with this territory and comes across as a caring, sharing male with an ear for a good tune.

Robbie Cavanagh's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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CAVANAGH, ROBBIE - To Leave/To Be Left