Hugh Doolan/Soundtrack To Your Imagination
November 6, 2012
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Dublin based Hugh Doolan fleshes out his earlier single Maiden Speech for his new full-length, Soundtrack To Your Imagination. Taking the lead from the first part of the title, about any of the cuts could be dropped into a variety of film genres and styles and be effective, whether as rich background or taking a bigger role in tandem. Compare the moody and starry Persephone’s Guitar to the tense and Krautrock-tinged Invisible Man for contrast and you can hear the multiple use/r factor. One of the biggest roles is saved for the listener though, spelled out on the marquee. Doolan’s compositions have their own character, but he uses their atmospheric and shifting nature to welcome the outsider imagination into the scene, to be an active participant in the flicker. Standing alone, and working as a soundtrack to…well, your call eventually…there is a feeling of narrative, a progression. Coaxed by Doolan, the details are up to us. That said, Doolan isn’t shirking his responsibility and leaving all the work to us. Many of the cuts push a warm emotional vibe that can easily cross between something wrapped in melancholy to feeling uplifting and hopeful. You wouldn’t be off in thinking that this exercise could lead to a formless, and uncommitted, gray card, but Soundtrack To Your Imagination has more than enough ground and framework to hold itself up as well as the weight of our own embellishments, and exaggeration if you want to go that far. If you don’t, and take Soundtrack To Your Imagination only on the surface, you still have an intriguing and ethereal whisper-narrative in your ear that has much more of a pay-off than the usual background static that screams at you no matter how much you adjust your volume knob. If you want to engage with it, then the result is what you, and your imagination, make of it.
(…a bit of bleed over into the day job: you can see more of the album illustrator Mario Sughi’s work at nerosunero.)