With album sales in excess of over 9 million worldwide, it is quite the mystery as to why Amy Macdonald isn’t a household name. Under Stars comes after a five-year break following her Life In A Beautiful Light album from 2012.
Hailing from East Dunbartonshire in Scotland, Amy has a distinctive Celtic roar that recalls both Stevie Nicks and KT Tunstall. Macdonald’s jovial spirit remains in fine fettle with first track Dream On an early highlight. No doubt it will provide many sing-alongs at the gigs to come. The titular song carries on this tradition; Macdonald’s incredible voice is matched by her ability to create deep yet accessible alternative pop.
Automatic channels ‘Born To Run’ era Bruce Springsteen, with choruses that are built for arenas and festival fields. The sombre moments help show a more vulnerable side to Amy, with the rawness of Never Too Late exacerbated by the piano-led melody.
The Rise & Fall is a happy medium of Amy’s signature unrelenting momentum and emotional honesty. This middle-ground further begs the question of why Amy Macdonald isn’t more commercially popular, she has the tracks, the personality and the sincerity to truly exceed the success of many other artists’ being pedalled currently.
Throughout Under Stars, there are subtle nods to the iconic Kate Bush and Sinead O’Connor. Whether it be in the soaring vocal gymnastics of The Contender or the subtler Prepare To Fall.
With the passage of time, not every album stands the test of time. But whilst Under Stars may not be decade defining, there is a timeless quality to Amy Macdonald that will certainly ensure her success for many years to come.