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  Blueprints For Descent
Artist: Mark Hannan 
Label: Independent
Time: 15 tracks/68:28

Mark Hannan is a singer/songwriter who has on this album compiled a number of tracks which showcase his quite decent folk guitar playing but sadly do not exhibit the same sort of creativity in vocal style or lyrical content.  As such, the album feels long; by the 40 minute mark, I was beginning to wish that there were some way of shortening this disc.  Part of this is due to some of the songs which seem to go on and on.  Perhaps I am not the right sort of person to review this type of album, as it strikes me as being a little self-indulgent, but without much of any importance to say.  Many of the songs are on the theme of being depressed over a lost love, which, while a rather universal experience, after a while becomes a little numbing, as does the lack of variation in style from song to song. Having said that, "Rock vs. a hard place" shows some life (read: an up-beat tempo) and creativity at about the mid-point of the album. In "Love Bade Me Welcome," a violin adds a darker tone colour as Hannan sings a George Herbert poem.  More songs like these two would certainly go a long way towards making this album more digestible. However, if this album were shortened up, the guitar work mixed a little louder, some of the vocals re-recorded, and a little more tempo variance happened from song to song, there would likely be a good album in here.  As of now, I have to say that Hannan shows a lot of promise, but comes up short.

Alex Klages 4/13/2003

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