Ren Gill - Freckled Angels | Album Review

Credit: Official Album Artwork
Singer-songwriter Ren Gill released his debut album recently so we thought we'd take a listen!

Opener Make My Way is hypnotic, with Ren's vocals gliding between dreamy and almost whispered to childlike and high-pitched on the hook. It's Alright is the first of many acoustic tracks on the album, and undoubtedly one of the finest. Accompanied only by a guitar, the song is a relaxing one, where you can't help but join in on the occurring "ooh-ee-ooh-ooh" throughout.

Dominoes is a track all about how society pushes us down and if you think it starts quietly, don't be misled. The lyrics, such as "beauty is sold on the shelves, forbid that we find it in ourselves", speak a lot of truth. The rap is incredibly intense to the point of being almost overpowering, but sadly only because the words are scarily eye-opening.

Satellite Girl sees the record return to a more upbeat level, with what could easily be a catchy pop hit. This continues with Love Music, which complete with its fast-paced vocals, and orchestral sound - piano, drums and wind instruments - are likely to have you reaching for the replay button.

In one word, 1990s is genius. Especially for those of us who, like Ren, were born in nineties, it is just one huge nostalgia trip. The chorus "1990s baby, the year that my mummy made me... I play Nintendo daily / My Sonic skills, yeah, they're crazy" and wizard sampling of hits from that decade, will have you both laughing and singing along simultaneously. 

Run Away is a reflective song about wanting the 'grey' to disappear. However, rather than wallowing in melancholy, the song avoids what could have easily become a ballad. With crashing drums and electric guitar, it has a optimistic, pacy vibe to it. In a similar way, Bullet is compelling and catchy, with its funky, foot-tapping riffs.

Final title track Freckled Angels concludes what is a huge rollercoaster of a record. Written in honour of his best friend Joe, it's incredibly poignant with a sentimental value that we can only begin to imagine.

At 16 songs long, the album takes you from the highest highs to the lowest lows, a reflection of Ren's state of mind since dealing with misdiagnosed M.E. (recently diagnosed as Lyme's Disease). With Ren fearful that his ill health would never see him get this album out to the public, the release of Freckled Angels is certainly a double celebration - firstly, to toast a man, Joe Hughes, who tragically lost his life so young (and was clearly loved by many), and secondly, to Ren for ceasing to let his illness take over. 

We, for one, cannot wait for the next record.

Purchase your own copy of Freckled Angels here.
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