Markus Feehily - Love Is A Drug
Pre-order/purchase Markus' Love Is A Drug here (iTunes)
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It's always an interesting time when a former boy band member pursues his own career free from the compromises and community of his former group. Markus Feehily always managed to maintain an admirable presence in global phenomenon Westlife, giving a truly soulful vibe to some of their most well known tunes. He contributed creatively to the group too through co-penning tracks like Reach Out (on Where We Are), Before It's Too Late and the exquisite I Will Reach You (both from Gravity, both with the much admired Steve Anderson) - no mean feat for a group who balanced soaring cover versions with new songs from superstar writers. And he may not have been a massive fan of the Swing When You're Winning-esque album Allow To Be Frank, but his solo vocal on Moon River still sends shivers down my spine. His first solo effort, Love Is A Drug, sees him teamed back up with Steve Anderson for a track that forces you to sit up and take notice; a track drenched with such gut wrenching honesty that it packs more of an emotional wallop about the agony and pain of love than 50 Shades of Grey could ever wish to accomplish. Lyrically, it taps into that inner voice that tells us we are addicted to love, passion, lust and fear of being alone even when the love becomes tarnished - something that starts to eat away at your inner soul with an alarming toxicity. Markus is so much more than a narrator of this story. He breathes an urgent, furious emotion into the song that is rich in an authentic anguish and honest despair. There's no denying his voice has always been captivating but this is surely his finest vocal performance to date, a work of art framed by an equally pervasive accompanying instrumental production. A gloriously compelling percussive groove underscores the sweeping melody whilst swirling strings punctuate the music with an addictiveness that only services to mirror the obsessive nature of this all-consuming tale of love. It's actually pure theatre in the best sense of the description - Markus conjures up metaphorical images of the dark nature of relationships that should be freeing and liberating but see us bound and helpless by the situation we find ourselves inextricably drawn further and further into. Ultimately it's his inner voice searching to find redemption that makes this such a fascinating single. It's not only a searing statement of what he's been through but a benchmark for what now must be one of the most hotly anticipated debut albums of 2015. His music is a drug and I for one am happy to be overdosing.