Album Review: Sean McConnell - Sean McConnell

We review an album by an artist you need to know.

There's a beauty and a nuance to every lyric written by Sean McConnell on his new introspective self-titled album. Even the opener, a Petty-ish heartland rocker called "Holy Days" feels personal. It's the kind of song that showcases why Sean McConnell has become one the go to songsmiths around Music Row and Texas. "Ghost Town" is perhaps the best song about our memories of youth and small towns I've heard (only rivaled by a song written and recently-recorded by Lori McKenna). A jangl-y slice of roots rock, the song also allows McConnell to showcase his pristine tenor, a voice unlike anyone in the country/rock world of today.

"Queen of Saint Mary's Choir" has a buoyancy to it that recalls Springsteen's vignettes of real people and real life and in this one, it's basically as personal as a song can get yet it feels like it could be MY story too, the best any song can hope for. That Springsteen spirit comes alive on "Bottom of the Sea" while "One Acre Of Land" feels as if McConnell is channeling the ghost of Harry Chapin.

It's a rare aire list of writers and poets from which I'm comparing Sean McConnell to but it's not often that a brilliant songwriter like Sean McConnell comes along at a point when the collective world needs him. "Babylon" is as honest a portrait of America as any song I've heard and it's high time a talented writer and artist like Sean McConnell gains attention for creating real, honest and damn good music like he does on this, his Rounder Records debut.