In Dublin Magazine
Promising sweet flowing guitars and gentle powerful vocals…he sings about a strange life and lost love, with a quirky sense of humour.’ Born in Dublin, John’ claim to fame is as the original lead singer of Riverdance, also working with artists such as Elvis Costello, Sinead O Connor and the Chieftains.
So what’s it like then?
It does fulfil it’s promise on the ‘sweet’ and ‘gentle’ front and is beautifully produced by the man himself, who obviously has the vision and wit not to add too many layers to songs that are indeed original, if at times a little too sweet. Some of the instrumentation in particular is outstanding and Mc Glynn possesses a voice that does justice to lyrics that are clearly personal.
Its downfall may lie in it’s lack of commercial appeal; a downfall only in terms of paying off the bills. Most however would find this a very accomplished debut.
Best known as the original lead voice in Riverdance, John McGlynn may have suffered from a case of sibling domination. His twin brother, Michael, wielding the Anúna baton, seems to have hogged most of the limelight in the past, but now it seems that John is set to redress the balance.
Anyone expecting a re-run of the choral virtue that was Anúna will be surprised by Songs For A Fallen Angel. John McGlynn's sensibilities might be far more rooted in contemporary balladry than medieval chant, but he shares with his brother a penchant for genteel harmonies and quiescent aural landscapes.
All of which might damn with faint praise if it weren't for the absolute beauty of a handful of the dozen self-penned songs he showcases here. The opener, 'If All She Has Is You' is a tender tale of spurned love, written from a quirky perspective, and reminiscent of Art Garfunkel during his 'Bright Eyes' days.
Elsewhere there are recurrent traces of English folk song, so much so that Nick Drake would surely smile at the irony of a revival of such delicacy in the maw of the tiger. This is most striking in the strings of 'She Took My Hand' and 'Face The Wall'. Sonny Condell and Tir na nÓg lend a subliminal influence too, but McGlynn's strongest hand is the sophistication in his writing particularly on 'In Your Eyes', with its Cole Porter romance.
There's a preciousness and delicacy about Songs For A Fallen Angel that at times borders on the twee, lyric and melody teetering on the brink of an irking fragility.
Still, it makes an admirable calling card, albeit flawed with McGlynn's somewhat egocentric writing style. He's got a good half dozen songs here that hint at a nascent talent struggling to overcome an ego that shouts to be gagged. Twinned with a more stringent producer, he promises to stretch his boundaries well beyond those he reveals here.