It’s too early to proclaim Declan McKenna a once in a lifetime talent, but somehow, he kind of feels like he’s on his way. The young 18-year-old Brit can pen sophisticated and thought-out lyrics beyond his years and he’s not too shabby at writing a melody either. He shows off talent and wisdom beyond his years on his new album, “What Do You Think About the Car?”.
McKenna’s influences are broad but there are a couple of key ones that you can hear throughout the new album – ABBA and David Bowie. He’s got that 70’s pop/odd glam rock down to a science on this album and the production here matches up with it perfectly. The only real knock that you can give him is that his melodies aren’t quite as good on most of the songs here as they are on songs like “Brazil” and “Paracetamol.” They’re always something interesting going on in the songs but there’s not a big hook or an amazing moment in a lot of these songs to pull you in. Beyond that, this kid writes about transgender teen suicide, FIFA corruption, and all kinds of heavy subjects. When we talk about how a lot of current music is stupid and void of intelligence – we won’t be looping McKenna with that, that much is certain.
McKenna’s impressive on “What Do You Think About The Car?” he writes songs that would be impressive if anybody wrote them, let alone a teenager. When this cycle is done it’s not going to be known as a landmark album but the talent suggests that could be in McKenna’s very near future.