If I have any real strong complaint about Hughie Mac Sings Some Great Songs, Pt 4, it’s that it’s an album that much like its previous installments, is all covers and no original pieces. This in no way makes the album bad, I wanna’ be very upfront about that, but what it does do is create somewhat of a vague disconnect between Mac and the listener because, by all accounts, all these best-of compilation albums make me want to do, is get to know Mac on a deeper level. Hailing from a family of accomplished musicians and primarily carrying a health education background, Mac has turned his notable talents to music and has been releasing steady albums for the past 5 years now. He’s even managed to get his foot in the super lucrative Christmas song catalog as well a maybe more niche Irish songs record.
His demeanor seems down to earth and you can feel this kind of relaxed, loose-tie atmosphere in every track which is funny given his appearance on each of these albums’ cover art. Part 4 has I’d argue some of the better classics like “Come Fly with Me”, “Fly Me to the Moon”, “New York New York”, but you’ll get some more contemporary or latter-day hits like “Cheeseburger in Paradise”. It’s a little hard to tell what exactly is the “Hughie Mac”-style as his performances are relatively straightforward, but never dull. Mac has cited Sinatra, Ricky Nelson, Jimmy Buffet, and Michael Buble as some of his biggest influences and he wears them on his sleeve very overtly. Going back to my earliest point, I really wish we got to see Mac really flex his abilities and either have him write or team with a writer for some original songs, covers are all well and good and I highly recommend this album and the previous album for tons of great interpretations of past hits, but I sincerely want to see Mac utilize his own life experience to reinforce his work.
There’s no need to be self-conscious in any way given how charming he is and his no doubt weighted and earnest stage presence. I would also argue that this album won’t really win over a younger crowd, but it’s not aimed at them. It’s for the lovers and the dreamers who know these songs but want to get lost in the tones of someone new. Music is a powerful tool and Mac knows this and I’m sure someone if not plenty will find versions of their favorite songs on here that’ll become their favorite interpretations of it. Mac doesn’t have any kind of a rags-to-riches narrative as a performer, but even at his age, he’s got this scrappy underdog energy that just makes me want to see him conquer the musical world. If these releases are any indication, he’ll be singing from great songs probably for the rest of his life, and I for once cannot wait to hear them. You can stream Part 4 and his previous albums on most major streaming platforms.
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