Having turned the heads of critics and the ears of the pop buying fraternity alike via a series of astute singles Better Man, Video Games and You & Me, Carl Scogland now has his third, full-length album on the horizon and what a belter it is.

The term pop all too often suggests something perhaps throwaway, transient, lowest common denominator, faddish and following the current fashion. But this is a different sort of pop. Pop infused with merit and melody, laced with the best bits of other genres – indie’s cool, rock’s robustness, soul’s addictive qualities – but pop nonetheless. And that is why it stands proud of the crowd. When most pop is made to order, follow expectations, conform, and remain part of the pack, Carl Scogland leads the genre into new pastures.

Well, newish, you can hear the echoes of a few deft singer-songwriters who may have already marked a bit of a path through such territories, such as James Morrison and David Gray, but if you are going to use anyone as a guide into the pop troubadour realm, who better to use as musical reference points? Who indeed.

Video Games is an excellent and addictive track, not to mention a totally relatable tune. Stop This is gently understated and full of hidden groove, the result of less-is-more sonic philosophies, and Better Man walks the perfect line between meaningful ballad and bonafide chart hit. And then, as if to say, “you have me pegged as a solo acoustic guy, well listen to this,” Ebb & Flow wanders into some compelling pop-rock, full band territory.

The singer-songwriter never goes out of fashion. People have been pursuing such pop paths since the late ’60s, but the art of it is to stay relevant, move with the times, offer something new, and, if not change the format, at least shake it up a bit and make it appealing to the audience of the day. Carl Scogland, in general, and Identity, in particular, does all that and more. So much more.

For more information, go to https://www.carlscogland.com

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