In 2016, singer-songwriter Sean McConnell’s eponymous album was met with a great deal of critical praise. The 10 track collection of well written and beautifully recorded songs resonated with listeners, conveying universally relatable life experiences with exceptional artistry. On September 8, McConnell re-visits these songs (and adds a new duet) with Undone, released via Rounder Records, but this time in acoustic format. The simplicity of the stripped down production adds even more weight and intimacy to his flawless vocals and powerful stories.
The lone piano on “Holy Days” is the ideal vehicle to drive the reflective song. Part fond memory and part loss, the track is a bittersweet reflection on a first love that wasn’t meant to be, “Underneath the moon with the radio playing Tangled In Blue, I remember you saying Baby, don’t move. Just let me look at you.” McConnell visits the place that played host to those Holy Days in “Ghost Town” with its “apparition memories” and current residents who are frustratingly unaware that, to him, they walk on sacred ground while “Babylon “examines the ruins of a failed relationship and ponders the way forward.
“Hey Mary” is a breezy, charming tune about the quest to win over the object of his affection and “Beautiful Rose” finds the way to the mature acceptance that though childhood dreams don’t always come true, the good outweighs the bad and life is beautiful. “Queen of Saint Mary’s Choir” chronicles his journey in the musical business and expresses gratitude for the things keep him grounded.
Undone closes with a song original to the album, “Nothing On You”, featuring Lori McKenna. Their voices meld beautifully needing nothing more than a guitar and a harmonica for accompaniment on the love song, “I took a knee in Notre- Dame. I lit a candle at the cross but ten thousand angels can’t keep me from coming back home cause Baby, ain’t nothing, ain’t nothing got nothing on you.”
If you were a fan of the 2016 release, you’re likely going to love its new incarnation in Undone. And if you missed out on the original, Undone gives you a great opportunity to see what you were missing.