Dean Owens - New York Hummingbird (3 stars)

Release from Edinburgh-based tunesmith a mixed bag

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Dean Owens - New York Hummingbird

(Songboy Records)

Could it be that Dean Owens suffers from Ron Sexsmith Syndrome? RSS is that little-publicised but extremely frustrating affliction which strikes talented singer-songwriters who are perfectly capable of crafting a gloriously melodic tune but, for reasons best known to themselves, refuse to do so on a more regular basis. New York Hummingbird, Edinburgh-based Owens’ fourth CD, features enough examples of tunesmithery gone right (the lovely ‘No One’s a Failure’ and sprightly ‘Baby Fireworks’) to make the flat downsides all-too troubling to hear.

Unlike Sexsmith, he is occasionally prone to bum-clenchingly icky lyrical interludes such as the forgetting/remembering motif in ‘The One That Got Away’ and the title track which namechecks a long list of folk-pop icons who Owens presumably wishes he might one day emulate.

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