Beans on Toast: Survival of the Friendliest (BOT Music) – review – Under the Radar Mag

Dec 14, 2021 Web Exclusive var addthis_pub=”4a0dbe61011c49a9″;

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A cheese sandwich in the bottom of your bag, smiling at the moon, the journey of a single drop of water—these are life’s salient enthralls. At least according to Jay McAllister, the singer/songwriter who’s been releasing music under the full English moniker Beans on Toast since 2009’s Standing on a Chair. His 14th album—released, as usual, on his 1st of December birthday—has him bathing in banality, rejoicing at the lightest of life’s offerings. It’s the sound of one man’s epiphany, though it doesn’t deliver one to listeners.
McAllister has a rustic, personable vocal delivery, like an overly chatty patron of a ski lodge bar. His lyrics are exhaustingly idealistic—“If you are good to the world/It will be good to you”—without a modicum of enigma or even metaphor. The idea of being so in love that you want to get married again is charming, but the execution curls the toes. “Not Everybody Thinks We’re Doomed” was ostensibly written in the Fireworks, Candy, and Puppy Dogs store from The Simpsons. It opens with the mawkish postulation, “The world is full of wonderful people living meaningful lives/Doing excellent things in order to survive.” Blegh.
Musically, we’re somewhere between the Zac Brown Band and Frank Turner if he started playing kids’ birthday parties. In other words, feel-good, brass-slathered alt-country that’s fearful of diverting from major chords and enjoys frolicking fiddles and plink-plonk piano lines.
No one is denigrating McAllister’s inspirations—the quiet magnificence of nature, being in love, accepting that you can’t control a world in flux. However, spinning these ideas with a winter morning crispness rather than over-earnest gooiness requires at least a flirtation with wryness. Beans on toast is a pretty nihilistic meal after all. (www.beansontoastmusic.com)
Author rating: 4/10
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Apr 21, 2021 Issue #68 – Japanese Breakfast and HAIM (The Protest Issue)

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Dec 14, 2021 Web Exclusive By Hayden Merrick var addthis_pub=”4a0dbe61011c49a9″; var addthis_config = {“data_track_clickback”:true}; A cheese sandwich in the bottom of your bag, smiling at the moon, the journey of a single drop of water—these are life’s salient enthralls. At least according to Jay McAllister, the singer/songwriter who’s been releasing music under the full English…

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