Sometimes I wonder if the aim of a musician is no longer to succeed, or at least to be remembered, but to be yet another practitioner of the anodyne. Neil Holyoak is not a name known to me and “Rags Across The Sun” is his fifth album although it is so low on excitement that it is unlikely that one would feel the need to actually investigate his back catalogue.
Mr Holyoak’s voice just about makes the grade even if you do get the feeling that he has chosen the melancholic tempo of the songs to obscure his vocal limitations. Lyrically, he does however, on occasion, show a poetic turn of phrase that suggests that there is more in his heart than he allows to surface on this album with “Red Queen of Autumn” and “Empress of the Sun”, in particular, crying out for the attentions of a better singer.
So “Rags Across The Sun” struggles to escape mediocrity and is therefore likely to attract only the attention of your less discerning consumer of Americana.