Anyone can release a record these days. The bedroom-based artist is the biggest winner out of advancing technology over the last decade, and Dubliner Conor Furlong has been keen to take advantage.
Entirely written, arranged performed and produced by the emerging songwriter, Furlong even took the time to burn the CD-R promo copies of debut album 'Eternal'. In all parts of his career, the hands-on approach has clearly been adopted.
Such dedication to his cause is commendable, yet such solely performed and produced albums always set alarm bells ringing. You're either about to hear a work of absurd genius, or one which is in need of bringing more cooks to the broth.
And when the final cut from 'Eternal' burns out, you're left leaning towards the latter. Fresh ears could only have benefited this, a debut which, though pointing to some future potential, operates almost exclusively in one gear.
Air, the folk-electronica of excellent British artist Merz and Moby circa 'Play' are all evident here. Having begun his carer in music as an acoustic guitar-carrying singer-songwriter, Furlong has moved more toward electronica-based material, bathing his debut in lush, classically influenced delicate beats and synths, all combed over with a tender monotoned vocal.
Like much of Moby's 'Play' (particularly the track 'Porcelain') Furlong's dabbles in electronica have a spacey, chilled-out, brave new world quality to them, throwing up images of Ibiza comedowns at dawn.
The difficulty, however, is that many of the songs ('The Astronaut', 'I'm In Love with Girls Aloud') sound foetal and incomplete. Certainly there's not enough going on to sustain interest and as each track bleeds into the next, the lack of variety grates.
Saying that, Furlong has an ear for melody, and when he meshes his new love for electronica with his folkier roots, he begins to hit paydirt. Seven songs in, 'So, You Think That You're A Star' is head and shoulders above anything else here; Furlong's vocal sounding more within the song, more part of the material, rather than running over it.
'World That I Dream Of' too shows a vocal move forward, but a lack of imagination to the musical landscape returns to frustrate. 'Until the Stars Burn Me Out' rectifies this somewhat, but by this stage we've heard the same thing seven or eight times.
There's enough here to earmark Furlong as one to watch over the coming years, but for now he may require a bigger bedroom with some cohorts in tow.