Listening to this album could only be described as the feeling one gets when they’re running into a beautiful sunset (or watching an actor do it…. Same thing). With songs titles like “Gathering The Sunlight” and “Staring At The Moon”, it rather clearly supports that argument.
Without trying to get into much detail about how Theory of Everything became, it started off as a solo project and soon became a very fluid, synced collaborative. The project was initiated by Paul O’Riodan after taking a hiatus from playing music. As he wrote, he gathered his rather über talented musician-friends Neil Delaney, Peter Delaney, Robert Carey, Podge O’Donoghue, David Carroll to play on the record, whilst Hannah O’Brien lent her gorgeous voice. Thus, Changing Trains was born.
This is one of few albums out right now that actually lives up to it’s title. Listening to this album is like watching home videos of someone’s personal journey as they discover love, loss, self-worth, doubt and self-discovery. The twist however, is that at the end of the reel your own picture comes up and you realise that you were actually just told a story about yourself. That is the honest beauty of the songwriting on this album, it takes something as universal as falling in and out of love but creates an individual experience for the listener.
To a certain extent, the album is underproduced but that strangely makes it even more endearing. That being said, it’s production value should be a benign topic since independent artists are left with the burden of personally funding their creations. This Limerick based collaborative do a heck of a job still maintaining such a standard with the resources they had. Credit to Hannah’s voice, because it’s beauty zeros the listener into the heart of the music. It would be injustice to compare it to that of another singer’s because she does a great job of carving out a style for herself. Her vocals shine the most of the songs “One Of These Days”, “Feeling Great” and “Away From Me”. It’s not sickly sweet, but also never sounds abrasive.
It goes without saying that the bed of music already laid only gave Hannah the best chance for her vocals to shine. As was said before, these musicians did a great job because even with a few glitches her and there, the instrumentals felt live, in the moment and therefore made the music more raw and vulnerable. However, what makes this album really great is the songwriting. Paul and the crew did a stunning job with all of it.
All in all, this is one collaborative I can’t wait to see live!
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