Billy MacKenzie – Beyond The Sun
CD, Album, UK, 1997
Beyond The Sun was the album that Billy was working on when he committed suicide. So of course there is tragedy spilt on this album like red wine on a white cloth. Stained with memories, yet its best to look at this album away from the tragedy.
The album feels very rough, not in the quality of the songs, but in its pacing. Many ballads, and I believe most of these songs are just demos, that was re-recorded after his death. It doesn't sound like a man drowning in despair, but an artist at his prime working on new material. The one thing that never fails is his unbelievably great voice. It never fails. He can sing from 100 to 1 and it will sound incredible. Along with Bowie and Scott Walker, MacKenzie is one of the great vocalist in the pop world. “14 Mirrors” is the classic Billy cut, with a beautiful melody that just builds slowly up and it comes to head with a gorgeous chorus. Full of emotion and just daring to be out there that only Billy can do. “At The Edge Of The World” is a smoky number that slinks to the edge, and looks over the horizon.
Over-all this is not an essential Billy release except it was demos for his next album at the time of his death, that makes it sad. But clearly this is not an artist on his last stage, but one can't say the same for his personal life or demons. Recordings by Billy are never bad, that's impossible! But there are stronger works by him that's out there, but as a fan you would want this album. And again, the voice never fails. In two words. Superb. Singer.
|Liner notes by Paul Morley that came with the CD|