Review by Alex Henderson 
4 Stars out of 5 

(Alex Henderson is a veteran journalist/music critic whose work has appeared in Billboard, Spin, The L.A. Weekly, Creem, HITS, Jazziz, JazzTimes, CD Review, Skin Two, Black Radio Exclusive, Thrash Metal and a long list of other well known publications.)

Occasionally, one comes across a North America artist that has so many influences from the British Isles that it sounds like he could be from that part of the world; Carrigan is such an artist. Based in London, Ontario in Canada,  one could easily assume that Carrigan is located somewhere in England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales.  His music is melodic alternative rock with hints of Celtic and British folk, and the direct or indirect influences  range from Dire Straits, U2, David Bowie and Coldplay to Pink Floyd and Genesis. His most American influence, arguably, is Fleetwood Mac, but then, Fleetwood Mac is a band that has had both British and American members.  
Carrigan has a knack for big, epic hooks and melodies that jump right out at the listener, and that approach yields memorable results .  The fact that Carrigan is such an expressive writer certainly doesn’t hurt.  Carrigan  brings a great deal of feeling to the material, all of which he wrote himself. 
Carrigan’s production is a definite plus. He favors a clean style , but it is obvious that he also wants the production to have a certain warmth, which  sounds well-produced, but it does not sound overproduced or sterile.  

 The music could easily appeal to Gen-Xers who are, in fact, over 40 now and grew up listening to a variety of alternative rock and classic rock.   Certainly, plenty of Gen-Xers were raised on artists like U2, Bowie and Dire Straits.  But that is not to say that Carrigan's appeal is limited to Generation X or the Baby Boomer generation.  Plenty of young Millennials are checking out rock from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s online, and it isn’t as though the Millennial generation is oblivious to Gen-X and Boomer bands. In fact, the Internet makes it very easy to check out music from the past. 


" a mixture of Pink Floyd and a bit of Fleetwood Mac. This is somewhat accurate given the almost progressive nature of the music and layered keyboards fitting with Floyd’s atmospheric rockers, and that some of the present basslines would make John McVie envious. The comparisons end though as the lyrics are more akin to someone more esoteric like David Bowie or Tom Waits.  Eddie Carrigan has a unique singing voice that is compelling and commanding,  yet he still has the capacity to be melodic and harmonious.  




Review by Heath Andrews 

(Heath Andrews discovered a passionate love for music at the hands of Huey Lewis & The News. Inspiring him greatly, he attended Ithaca College, obtaining a B.S. in Radio/Television and script writing. During his award-winning tenure there, he hosted and produced multiple programs for the station 106VIC and interviewed musicians such as David Knopfler, Nils Lofgren and Bruce Hornsby.)


"The Mission Bell" 

Review by Matthew Warnock (Editor In Chief for Guitar International Magazine) 

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Canadian rock music has long made a big impact on the international music scene. From Neil Young to Rush to Our Lady Peace and even Nickelback, the Great White North has produced some of the genre’s most unique voices, artists that fit firmly in the modern rock genre, but that remain truly Canadian at heart. Mixing rock, country, blues and folk influences, many Canadian rock artists have been able to “break America,” reaching the vast audiences of their Southern neighbors, but other songwriters have managed to carve out a successful career, producing lasting musical contributions in the process, without ever having to go south of the 49th parallel. Singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Eddie Carrigan is just such an artist. Though born and raised in Scotland before moving to Canada, the talented artist has yet to “crack” the U.S. music scene. Carrigan’s album, The Mission Bell, aims to shine a brighter light on the talented musician’s work, and with such a strong result, the album is sure to bring wider, and much deserved attention to this Scottish-Canadian gem. 

One of the things that allow Carrigan’s music to stand out among the crowded Indie-Rock marketplace is his ability to bring in other instruments from outside the normal spectrum at just the right time, lifting what would have been a good song to the realm of greatness. A good example of this is the song “Black Rain.” Here, Carrigan has written a catchy song, with meaningful lyrics and a solid chord progression, but it is the “extras” that really bring the song to life. By adding the slide guitar melody at the beginning of the song, the piano groove that propels the song forward and the background strings with their echoing melody behind the vocal line, Carrigan is not only showcasing his world-class musicianship and musicality, but he is going that extra mile for his listeners, one that audience members will no doubt appreciate as it lifts the level of their learning experience many fold. 

There is also a strong message in Carrigan’s music, in the same sense as Bruce Cockburn, Sting and Leonard Cohen bring meaning to their songs through lyrical storytelling. One of the strongest songs on the album is “Soldiers.” Here, Carrigan has written a song that is not only lyrically powerful, but that has a wonderful melodic and harmonic hook to it, combing both words and sound in a way that grips the listener’s attention from the opening notes, carrying them along the song’s musical journey until the last notes ring out into the silence. The song possesses some of Carrigan’s strongest guitar work on the album, as both a rhythm and lead player. His palm-muted, arpeggiated lines that back the vocals are the perfect accompaniment for this track, and his lead lines, though subtle, are highly melodic and come across as growing out of the song, rather than being inserted into the song, as is the case with other, similar artists. 

The Mission Bell is a solid outing for Carrigan, one that deserves to be held up next to the biggest names in the genre. The songs are craftily penned, creatively arranged and powerfully performed by a top-notch artist, everything that a record needs to be successful in a day and age when listeners are flooded with new music on a daily basis. Only time will tell if Carrigan will receive the international acclaim, outside of the U.K. and Canada, which he deserves, but regardless of where his life’s journey leads him, this album is a testament to the talent and hard work that permeates Carrigan’s musical output.

Somewhere Over Mars reveals Carrigan's and for that matter, Karigan's penchant for delicate pensive melodies that weave in synthetic flutes, synthesized guitars and decidedly non-synthesized intimate vocals into an entrancing mix that wouldn't sound out of place shuffled into any number of  early Peter Gabriel discs. 

What distinguishes Somewhere Over Mars and in fact Carrigan's talent is a deftness for lacing memorable hooks and choruses in among the layers of production polish. There are specific highlights that could be noted but to no particular end. The truth is that every one of the ten tunes have subtly infectious choruses that make themselves quite comfortable in the nooks and crannies of anyone's cerebellum. It would take a Herculean act of will to get the repeated refrain of  "What  happened to you?" from  "The Rain God"  or "Africa's" layered chorus out of even the most stubborn listener's skull. 

So, will Karigan make it from Ailsa Craig and London to the international concert stage? Based on the evidence of their sparkling debut and perhaps even the success of London's Oscar winning Paul Haggis, the trip may be more effortless and possible than one might presume. 


"Somewhere Over Mars"

 Album Reviewer for Artscape Magazine