"IF ALL SHE HAS IS YOU" from "INNERWORLD" by Electric Youth
Electric Youth [The Canadian synth-pop duo] put If all she has is you on their debut album Innerworld in 2014. Their beautiful song A Real Hero was the closing scene in the movie Drive featuring Ryan Gosling.
Referencing my version of the song on Anúna's PBS special Celtic Origins, they told me that they had just moved to LA and were checking out the local TV stations.
"Then your solo performance of 'If All She Has is You' came on and our jaws dropped and had tears from how beautiful. [it was]. We decided right then we would make it the one cover on our debut album, with the hopes of doing our best to try and bring this beautiful song to more people".
The album was produced by Vince Clarke [Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure].
"Crafted in the image of nu-romantic synth-pop acts like Soft Cell and Yaz, Electric Youth's Innerworld is awash in '80s earmarks. In fact, Yaz's Vince Clarke lent a hand (and a Yamaha CS80) to the album. The arpeggiated melodies and programmed drums that course through Innerworld evoke memories of lost '80s hits, hinting at the likes of Berlin, Nu Shooz, Scandal and Regina, especially in tracks like "Without You" and the slower ballad "If All She Has Is You." Electric Youth operates with a sense of remove, though, evocative of icy Italo hits of that same era."
NPR.ORG - Andy Beta
"Recalling heartbreak on ‘If All She Has Is You’ and staying strong on the Saint Etienne-like ‘Tomorrow’. Shot through with warm hooks, it’s a worthy retooling of old synth styles."
NME - Matthew Horton
"A cover of Irish tunesmith John McGlynn's waltz "If All She Has Is You" further triggers unexpected chills. An enchanting, theatrical soliloquy, sparse with just vocal and elegiac Vangelis keys, "She waited in vain / A figure in black." A spectral and curiously forlorn aside. Its oddly unsettling "Mmm mmm" fade all but wraps a macabre black bow around a minor key Greek tragedy."
POP MATTERS - Matt James
"Griffin and Garrack, the man with the beautiful dreadlocks, are also able to keep a song small. If All She Has Is You is a worn synth pop song with a chorus to fall head over heels in love with. That's Griffin and Garrack, by the way. They have been inseparable since primary school."
WRITTEN IN MUSIC - Pieter Visscher
“Innerworld” is a journey, an adventure, and untold story. From the beginning with “Before Life” that floats you into a different reality, “Runaway” and “We Are The Youth” journeying through an adolescent awakening, to “If All She Has Is You” and “The Best Thing” as love blossoms, it’s hard to describe in words these elated and heartsick lyrics and synths for yourself, so go do that instead now."
RAYER RAFTING - Joshua Schellhammer
Reviews for Songs for a Fallen Angel
This is one of the most beautiful CDs I have heard this year, perhaps ever. Gorgeous vocals, inticate acoustic guitar work and exquisite string arrangements combine to evoke moods reminiscent of Nick Drake and The Left Banke. But make no mistake, McGlynn has a style all his own, and a voice that once you hear it, you will instantly identify it upon the next hearing.
A unique record - this is definitely on my list for my year-end "best of" radio program.
DOUG DICKSON - Toss The Feathers WCBE 90.5 FM Columbus, Ohio
Best known as the original lead voice in Riverdance, John McGlynn may have suffered from a case of sibling domination. His twin brother, Michael, wielding the Anúna baton, seems to have hogged most of the limelight in the past, but now it seems that John is set to redress the balance.
Anyone expecting a re-run of the choral virtue that was Anúna will be surprised by Songs For A Fallen Angel. John McGlynn's sensibilities might be far more rooted in contemporary balladry than medieval chant, but he shares with his brother a penchant for genteel harmonies and quiescent aural landscapes.
All of which might damn with faint praise if it weren't for the absolute beauty of a handful of the dozen self-penned songs he showcases here. The opener, 'If All She Has Is You' is a tender tale of spurned love, written from a quirky perspective, and reminiscent of Art Garfunkel during his 'Bright Eyes' days.
Elsewhere there are recurrent traces of English folk song, so much so that Nick Drake would surely smile at the irony of a revival of such delicacy in the maw of the tiger. This is most striking in the strings of 'She Took My Hand' and 'Face The Wall'. Sonny Condell and Tir na nÓg lend a subliminal influence too, but McGlynn's strongest hand is the sophistication in his writing particularly on 'In Your Eyes', with its Cole Porter romance.
There's a preciousness and delicacy about Songs For A Fallen Angel that at times borders on the twee, lyric and melody teetering on the brink of an irking fragility.
Still, it makes an admirable calling card, albeit flawed with McGlynn's somewhat egocentric writing style. He's got a good half dozen songs here that hint at a nascent talent struggling to overcome an ego that shouts to be gagged. Twinned with a more stringent producer, he promises to stretch his boundaries well beyond those he reveals here.
Promising sweet flowing guitars and gentle powerful vocals…he sings about a strange life and lost love, with a quirky sense of humour.’ Born in Dublin, John’ claim to fame is as the original lead singer of Riverdance, also working with artists such as Elvis Costello, Sinead O Connor and the Chieftains.
So what’s it like then?
It does fulfil it’s promise on the ‘sweet’ and ‘gentle’ front and is beautifully produced by the man himself, who obviously has the vision and wit not to add too many layers to songs that are indeed original, if at times a little too sweet. Some of the instrumentation in particular is outstanding and Mc Glynn possesses a voice that does justice to lyrics that are clearly personal.
Its downfall may lie in it’s lack of commercial appeal; a downfall only in terms of paying off the bills. Most however would find this a very accomplished debut.
IN DUBLIN Magazine