Macaulay is a New York singer-songwriter who perhaps, on this four songs, debut EP, relies too much on his influences to carry the force. Too often, these songs fall back on phrasing or chord progressions straight outta the Ani or Bright Eyes songbook. The result is stark, brooding acoustic pop whose edge we can?t really trust, since it may not be the singer?s own edge that drives the songs. Still, Macaulay is an adept guitarist, and lyrically his heart is in the right place.
His finger-picking is especially effective on ?Lost? and ?Why?, though even here some Ani DiFranco shines through the open tuning. Lyrically, ?I Want Out? has a bite missing from the other tunes, though on ?Free? he allows deeper insight into the emotional core for the song.
The live feel of the record bodes well for the future. Macaulay has obviously spent a lot of time on stage, and the risk-taking involved in playing confessional solo acoustic songs should bring depth to his writing and playing as both mature. For now, this is a pleasing introduction to a singer and writer who will have more to say once he stretches out beyond his influences. He avoids most of the pretensions of the singer/songwriter genre which, for a debut, is glorious. 7/10 -- Mike Wood (11 September, 2006)