Catchy hooks, relaxed rhythms and thoughtful lyrics permeate Alex McCowan’s debut album Thief. Only a few years on the scene, local folkie McCowan has produced a mature album featuring six originals and a cover. Peter Bjorn and John’s unpleasant Young Folks become poignant in McCowan’s capable hands. Standout tracks Ode to Lakewater and Juste Comme Jacques Cousteau show complementary sides of McCowan with the former being more brooding while the latter is more akin to pop. Although I’m not entirely sure what it’s about, GDP (Be Somebody) has been stuck in my mind for the last week, and not in the annoying way. Throughout the album snippets of mandolin, banjo and accordion can be heard, being used to great effect. The album is not overcrowded and the poetry of the lyrics mixes well with the instrumentation.
Published in Volume 64, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 21, 2010)