Amy MacDonald – This Is The Life (2007)

FrontCover1The debut album from Scottish singer / songwriter Amy MacDonald, This Is the Life achieved a remarkable feat — it entered the charts at number two. MacDonald admits that the song “Poison Prince,” which received a limited release as a single, is based on the life of Babyshambles/Libertines singer Pete Doherty, but the first nationally released single “Mr. Rock & Roll” has nothing whatever to do with him. With a finger on the pulse of news items of 2007, she fills “Footballer’s Wife” with observations on WAG (wives and girlfriends) culture, in which female spouses are famous for nothing much more than their celebrity partners, and uses the title track “This Is the Life” to reflect upon the lifestyle she had always envied since the early days of practicing her guitar and honing her songwriting skills. Meanwhile, “Let’s Start a Band” is exactly what it looks like: a song about being successful in the fickle career of pop music, a theme that is further developed on the song “Barrowland Ballroom,” named after a venue in Glasgow that many an aspiring artist wishes to play. MacDonald captures the feelings of ordinary people in the crowd wishing that something exciting would happen in their lives (“I wish I saw Bowie playing on that stage”). There is a nostalgic feel to the album, which conjures up vocal images of Kirsty MacColl and vintage coffeehouse folk singers, and even the cover art evokes the ’70s with its frayed edges and warm, lived-in appearance. (by Sharon Mawer)

Seton Daunt (guitar)
Susan Dench (viola)
Jolyon Dixon (guitar)
Johnny Dyke (keyboards)
Sarah Erasmus (background vocals)
Adam Falkner (drums, percussion, harmonium)
Richard George (violin)
Jonathan Hill (violin)
Amy Macdonald (vocals, guitar)
Laura Melhuish (violin)
Audrey Riley (cello)
Jamie Sefton (saxophone, flugelhorn, trumpet, bass)
Chris Tumbling (viola)
Pete Wilkinson (keyboards, percussion)
Philip Mason (bagpipes on 19.b.)
Martina Nagel (cello on 05.)
Jamie Sefton (vocals on 15.)


CD 1:
01. Mr. Rock & Roll (MacDonald) 3.35
02. This Is The Life (MacDonald) 3.06
03. Poison Prince (MacDonald) 3.29
04. Youth Of Today (MacDonald) 4.00
05. Run (MacDonald) 3.51
06. Let’s Start A Band (MacDonald) 4.05
07. Barrowland Ballroom (MacDonald) 3.59
08. L.A. (Wilkinson) 4.07
09. A Wish For Something More (MacDonald) 3.46
10. Footballer’s Wife (MacDonald) 5.05

CD 2 (Bonus Disc):
11. This Is The Life (acoustic version) (MacDonald) 3.19
12. This Much Is True (MacDonald) 2.44
13. Somebody New (MacDonald) 3.30
14. Footballer’s Wife (live from Glasgow Barrowlands) (MacDonald) 5.02
15. Fairy Tale Of New York (live from Glasgow Barrowlands) (MacGowan) 5.51
16. Mr. Brightside (live from Glasgow Barrowlands) (Keuning) 4.06
17. Mr. Rock & Roll (live from Glasgow Barrowlands) (MacDonald) 3.28
18. Rockbottom (MacDonald) 3.46
19a. The Road To Home (MacDonald) 2.24
19.b.Caledonia (MacLean)  2.07