“It’s groovy, it’s smooth, it’s awesome in so many ways. The album has all the ingredients a record needs to be beyond incredible. It’s catchy, it’s old but new, and something we don’t see in the music industry these days. It’s impossible not to love it. They have a Jamiroquai meets Santana meets Matchbox Twenty style. The piano is one of the main stars with perfectly tuned vocals and drums doing what they know best to create something irresistible. This is one of those records and one of those bands. “Our Last Stand” is probably my favorite track and the one that stole my heart. 4.7 / 5”
“A genre bending project all wrapped in one body of work. Reminiscent of great bands, Magazine Gap offers music fans a great deal of what has been missing in music today. Strong vocal performance, great songwriting and awesome music are mainstays here. But I'm not shocked by Magazine Gap's talent because these are three guys who have toured the whole world and gained valuable experience that most of their counterparts have not. I immediately appreciated the creativity and excellence with which each song was produced. Easily one of the UK's best kept secrets.”
"Not only have Magazine Gap burst onto the music scene with great music, they've also managed to create a fresh and unfamiliar sound. There's no limit to their knowledge of musical genres and the band deserves credit for nourishing their quirky style. Lyrically insightful, thought-provoking and honest. Keen’s superb control over his singing voice adds a skilled element to his story-telling capabilities. There are so many famous bands nowadays who can't sing and perform live as they sound on their albums. Magazine Gap are an exception. A first class act. If you get the opportunity to see them live – do it! Meanwhile get hold of their album and fall in love with their unpredictable music style!"
“This is a terrific album that could be a very big hit in the pop world. Has the musical void left when Simply Red split up now been filled by a Gap? James has a wonderful soaring alto voice very much in the style of Mick Hucknall. Title track Light & Shade is a funky jazz tune that has all the right moves with piano and drums accompanying some fine vocals. Couldn’t Make It Up (If You Tried) again has a jazz sound with full pop sensibilities and would be a hit on some of the big pop radio stations. Slipstream is a fine ballad with some wonderful acoustic guitar and piano supported by a rhythm foundation of bass guitar and drums. Stand-out track The Promised Land is a superbly flowing tune, with soaring vocals and great bass guitar line and super lead guitar that builds powerfully. The outcome is this tremendous pop album that errs on the eclectic.”
"The fabulous group, Magazine Gap, and their debut album, "Light & Shade," will mesmerize you with their outstanding collection of Pop/Rock music. Magazine Gap has a magnetic originality and creativeness in which they employ easy flowing musical styles within their artistic arrangements. The charismatic vocals have a captivating appeal while they use a colorful mix of instrumentation throughout the album. "It's All Good," has an engaging vibe as the laid back vocals grooves around the punchy bass line and dynamic piano chords. "Something To Be said," is infused with soothing instrumentation that melds with the thought provoking vocals. "Our Last Stand," is another song that has an irresistible melody and vocals that deliver passionate lyrics. If you are a fan of the Dave Matthews Band, then you will really enjoy the superb CD."
“I knew I was going to be taken on a journey and it became clear I was listening to a sound from the world stage. Give me real sounding band productions anytime! A very tight performance by all the musicians, I get chills listening to the songs and James’ unique, angelic, yet edgy voice. The title track has a fast shuffle drum beat that I really enjoyed from drummer Brian McCook, Tim Gyton’s bass playing is funky and solid and I really enjoyed Alex Ho’s jazz piano stylings. “Couldn’t Make It Up (If You Tried)” is in my opinion the big hit song of this album. It opens with such a cool and catchy verse, has a great chorus and the whole song just had me riveted. I have to say I love everything about it; I love the melodic rap (James is a very versatile singer), the horn section, and the message. I’m very impressed with the production stylings and performances by the entire band and I can’t wait to see them live again. Hats off to Magazine Gap!”
“Strong musicianship, creativity in songwriting with well crafted and insightful lyrics, and a wonderful mix of styles and instruments making it something that is distinctly Magazine Gap.”
“This is a really good album with a truly eclectic air about it. It has a folk rock side to it with a wonderful heavy leaning to jazz rock too. Sounds crazy doesn't it but that's exactly what this album is. Some fine musicianship is fronted by the singer-songwriter James Keen. Diversity is the key here.”
“There's folk/rock/pop mixed with R&B/blues/soul with occasional Latin rhythms and jazz piano. The combination somehow works and James Keen's voice stands out. Interesting stuff. ****”
“An eclectic sound that makes for an unusual album. There are folk-rock tracks shot through with jazz influences, and vice versa. The album is lyrically strong while the vocals of singer-songwriter James Keen hold all the various elements together and fuse them into a distinct sound”
“Sophisticated pop and a call to all lovers of class”
“What I like so much about 'Light & Shade' is that it's just so unpredictable simply because there are so many influences on here. Just have a listen to songs such as 'Our Last Stand', 'Inside The Bubble', 'It's All Good' and 'Senorita, I See You' and then try telling me this release isn't a pleasurable listening experience? Not only do you get a wicked disc full of great tunes I have to give the packaging the thumbs up! This album should be on your 'To Buy' list. 9/10”
“An album of such high production values, it sounds fantastic. Their song-writing ability and multi-layered structures have clearly had a lot of time and effort put into them. One of my personal favourites is the epic 'Swansong' that somehow manages to combine the James Blunt-esq style vocal sound with that of Tracy Chapman to produce a stunning world class ballad - a really beautiful song. Another highlight is the softly sung 'Slipstream' with its understated melodies and arrangements that bring to mind the classic Extreme track 'More Than Words'. Overall it’s a record brimming with quality musicianship throughout and could even be suggested to fill the void that’s been left by the demise of Simply Red.”
“I arrived at the venue with high expectations of a great night out, but it must be said with the question "How are these guys going to sound live?" ringing in my head. The band took to the stage and the question in my head was answered within a few short moments of musical genius. Magazine Gap it must be said are a very polished act recorded, with good production and arrangements abound. Some artists fail miserably to take this "polished" sound out of the studio and re-create to a live audience. Not Magazine Gap - they are even better live. Period. There is a well rehearsed, yet "jam like" quality about their set that makes them stand out from other bands. A contradiction in terms I know, you have to see it to believe it. Stand out song of the set for me was “The Promised Land”, showcasing James vocal ability to the fullest.”
“Wow. What a voice. What a groove. What songs. The next artist to watch. People came up to me and said literally, “I feel like I’ve just seen the next Sting / the rise of a new Dave Matthews Band”. These guys are going to be big! People sat with their jaws dropped until their last song and note”
“No Coincidence is a classy piece of work with 12 strong tracks and a very full and accomplished musical backdrop. Most of them have a funky/bluesy feel, with intriguing and not obvious lyrics. James has a good, strong voice with a pleasing tremolo. All in all, a very pleasing listen.”
“An incredibly slick album, with all the professionalism of a fully-signed artist, it’s a complete melting pot of James’s influences. The myriad of musicians on this record leads to a truly eclectic sound, helping to keep the album sound fresh with each listen. Overall, a great and varied debut.”
“A good pop record will draw inspiration from a plethora of sources, so No Coincidence is built on solid foundations with an entire spectrum of styles and artists supplying the influences. Plenty of the generically labelled (but certainly not generic-sounding) pop. An all-round winner.”
“An album of carefully crafted, slickly produced mature pop music. It’s just one new idea after another and there’s so much variety. What unites it all, though, is the strength of the melodies. An incredibly well rounded collection. Genres, who needs them? Come in David Gray, your time is up.”
“A sparkling example of contemporary music, with music that crosses and blurs musical genre, No Coincidence is bloody brilliant! Superb songs, stunning musicianship and a voice that can adapt to any rhythmic nuance. Stunning in every aspect. 10/10”
"A testament to an unconventional style that simply works, bringing forth an album with soul, style and originality. They have fused an amazing collection of various styles into a sound that is sure to amaze even seasoned musicians and producers. The pop/rock style is truly unique."
“Coming from different points on the musical compass, Magazine Gap combine folk-rock, hip-hop, jazz, funk and rock into their own genre-busting sound that's given free rein on their album. Thanks to the collective musicianship of all concerned, and the distinctive vocals of James Keen, it works beautifully.”
“Beautiful musicianship, intricate rhythms - meticulously layered, carefully crafted songs from a group of musicians who know their mark, and how to hit it each and every time. Through the myriad of colours and tones, the recurring and dominating sound is that of a pop-rock nature. The dynamic control displayed confirms a band in full masterful command of their music. Thoughtful musical arrangements in full bloom; every sonic space filled out, in a measured, methodical manner, by the virtuoso players. The spearhead of this swirl of lush musicianship is the vocals of James Keen: a cultured, consummate voice that sounds instantly familiar yet distinctive enough to stand on its own. A sentiment which sums up the entire band, in fact. "Light & Shade" showcases a skilful, refined band at the top of their A-Game and captured in crystal high-fidelity clarity through the deft, sharp production. The finished article is simply something to sit back and admire whatever your musical tastes.”