© Words Val Weedon
With one eye in the rear view mirror, but a heavy boot planted firmly on the accelerator speeding towards a future vision, Terry Shaughnessy and the boys (The Universal) have delivered an album of thought provoking, driving sonic excellence. Only slowing down for the final beautiful and melodic title track that summarises all that has gone before. Terry’s apprenticeship has been well served and he brings a maturity to his music while remaining relevant to a constantly youthful fan base.
Kudos is given to Terry’s production and mixing skills, where, in the modern world, many bands make the mistake of thinking more is better. Don’t get me wrong, The Outsiders has a full and complete sound, yet retains an acoustic excellence that doesn’t assault the aural senses.
The Universal are the new melodic muscle from Merseyside. And this is an album they should definitely be proud of, with a sound that clearly identifies who they are. I name that band in one.
With a blend of the old and new, the tracks that Stand Up and Stand Out without a doubt is the title track “The Outsiders” which is an Insider for me and “Is This England?” I’ve heard many times at their live performances, but never tire of it. It is a Universal Anthem.
For those who struggle to get up for work on a Monday morning I suggest listening to this album before your coffee and cornflakes. It will make the week ahead seem so much brighter. www.theuniversal.inf