I’m a little surprised that I haven’t seen Philip Marino live as he plays many of the venues that I tend to rock up to – Proud Camden, The Harrison, The Islington – but, based on this album, it is a shortcoming I will attend to in the coming months.

Marino is an American, currently living in Essex, and claims influences from the best of the American singer/songwriter scene as well as the best British songwriters but I have to say that I’m not hearing the influences of John Mellencamp or Cat Stevens. He clearly has his own voice and style and there are elements of Scottish folk in some of the songs as well as artists such as Malcom Holcombe but the end result is clearly Philip Marino and I don’t think I would mistake him for anyone else.

He has a strong voice, dusky and edgy, but there is deep emotion in his singing and his guitar playing has a strong rhythmic element to it.
The production by Marino & Adam Bowers is subtle and suggests that the songs can be performed live as well as on the album.

The album’s title track is a super observation of someone who has been cheating all their life and looking over their shoulder all the while. A delicious whispery organ in the back and fine guitar lead from Thom Aston really brings the song home.
I really like the simplicity and passion in ‘The Way We Live’, Marino’s voice swinging between a whisper and a heartfelt prayer all over a simple guitar line.

Philip Marino is someone I will be keeping an eye out for, a fine songwriter and a man with individual style and sound.