It would seem Kevin Critchley has come full circle. Having started his recording career as Kevin Critchley then adding more musicians and morphing into the Kevin Critchley Outfit (later renamed KCO) before transforming into The Fifth Movement, he is now back recording and performing as Kevin Critchley.
As I Disappear contains ten tracks that are unmistakably Kevin Critchley. The sleeve notes tell us that the songs were shaped by his own experiences dealing with love, obsession, fear, depression and being haunted by the past. And he’s not kidding! Each in Kevin’s trademark minor key, the songs showcase Kevin’s fine songwriting, powerful voice and equally powerful guitar playing.
Amongst the highlights are opener Ghosts, the radio-friendly Brother, Those Eyes with its catchy syncopated rhythm, and the haunting Track Of Betrayal. My favourite song is Saboteur with Wei Ping Wei’s unexpected 1950s B Movie-style, outer space-inspired organ sound a real delight.
The Fifth Movement may have bitten the dust, but many of his trusty and skilful band members are still with him, with Alex Williams on drums and percussion, Graeme Runeckles on bass and electric guitars. Kevin had arranged Amy Chalmers’ violin parts, with input on some tracks from Helen Lyon, Josie Forsey, and Laura McKinlay. Additional vocals are provided by Katie O’Callaghan. The album was recorded at the Motor Museum with the magic touch provided by Al Groves with additional input from James Mellor.
As I Disappear is an album that has really grown on me from first listen. Although all of the songs are in a minor key, don’t let that put you off as there’s more than enough variety in the tone, rhythm, and feel of the ten tracks to keep you listening right to the end. Highly accomplished and highly recommended.
Graham Holland is the owner and editor of the Liverpool Acoustic website, and runs Liverpool Acoustic’s award-winning live music events with local musician Stuart Todd. In real life he’s a Web Development Officer, has been producing podcasts on a regular basis since July 2006, and runs a number of websites for other organisations. He lives in Wavertree with his husband and their cat Xiao Hei.