Review: “Sean Maguire” by Sean Maguire (CD, 1994)

Today’s POP RESCUE from a fate unknown, is the 1994 debut eponymous album Sean Maguire by British actor Sean Maguire. Will this album Suddenly sweep you off your feet, or will you want it to find Someone else To Love? Read on…

Sean Maguire - Sean Maguire (1994) album cover
Sean Maguire – Sean Maguire (1994) album

This 10 track CD opens with what sounds like it’s going to be some big American schmaltzy ballad, but then a R&B beat drops in as Sean’s soulful voice joins in for Someone To Love. The track was the lead single, which would have fit right in with the early songs from Eternal dominating the charts. It’s a nice bright up-beat song, and Sean’s gentle voice is warm, helping to make the song flow along nicely. The album is off to a great start, and this debut song took Sean to an admirable #14 in the UK singles chart.

That leads on to Lover By Candlelight, which is loaded with sultry saxophone which fits the mood perfectly. This is another nice little light pop song, and the first of five tracks on the album where he gets a writer’s credit. The backing vocals (which includes Tessa Niles) work well in contrast to Sean’s voice, and at times add strength to his vocal richness. At times the chorus reminds me a little of Jason Donovan.

Take This Time is next and this track takes a reggae style, which earns it some wonderful bass and guitar, that keeps it taking a great pace. The song oozes summer time vibes, and it flows with great ease thanks to that plodding bass and percussion. At times in the chorus, the backing vocals remind me of something you might expect to hear from Culture Club. Sean puts in a great turn here with his vocals, but the song is not quite as interesting as other tracks, and it’s performance as the second UK single seems to have reflected this when it stalled at #27.

What seems to be a radio tuning in, eventually lands on the bouncy pop song My Heart Won’t Let You Go. This track has a really nice tempo, aided by a little saxophone riff that repeats throughout. This is a track that wouldn’t have gone astray on the Big Fun album. It bounces along nicely, loaded with great pop beats, backing vocal harmonies, and fun little break downs. This could have been a stronger single than Take This Time.

After all that sunshine, a rain storm rumbles overhead as we wander into the heartfelt ballad of No Choice In The Matter. Here, we get to hear a more tender sounding vocal from Sean, and you get a real sense of his vocal style, which is soulful, but also sounds a little weaker with this slower style. He’s better suited to more upbeat louder pop songs.

There’s a shift in tone as the bleepy synth intro of Suddenly arrives. This is a much more up-beat song, and I actually remember this song being released. It’s got a really nice little dance beat, a few fat synth notes, and Sean gets to show off his pop vocals, which is where he sounds at much greater ease. Again, the brass stabs are here, which help to add to the track. Again, the track sounds like it could have been a Jason Donovan track, but Sean really does it justice and it’s the strongest song so far. The song took him to #18 in the UK when it was released as the third and final single from the album.

As Soon As You Know follows that, leading in with some nice ‘do-do-do-do‘ vocal samples over an R&B beat. The song plods along easily thanks to a nice bass line. The chorus works well, with Sean pitched alongside some great female backing vocals, who also throw in the occasional line, but the verses feel a bit verbose and easily forgotten. It ends suddenly, which perhaps fits the theme of the song.

Then it’s The Sun Shines From You, which has a racing beat sample, and some dance piano chords, and it sounds almost like a demo set of vocals at the start. Eventually the track builds and just after the 1 minute mark, the song seems to finally find its wings and it begins to fly well.

Devotion follows this opens with a moody ‘devotion to love’ from Sean. A thick bass and whooping little synth leads us into the verse and beyond. The chorus is quite catchy here, and Sean’s vocals sound flawless here. It’s a nice little pop song.

The album closes with It’s Always Christmas Time, which feels a little awkward to put on the end of an album that’s not a Christmas one. That said, Sean puts in an okay turn in this softly sung modern Christmas pop song, but it’s not that great, and really could have been any artist making a hash of this completely not-very Christmas not-very cheerful and boring song. It’s a limp to the end of the album.

Sean Maguire’s lead single ‘Someone To Love’ (1994).


Over all, this album has a few good moments, but it’s padded out with some mediocre soft-pop that doesn’t really suit Sean’s voice.

It’d been less than a year since Sean had left his year-long role as drug user Aiden in TV soap EastEnders, and that, along with his earlier time on TV series Grange Hill, would have made him a familiar face with the pop music audience in the UK, so I can completely understand why record label bosses thought making this good looking guy a pop star, would probably pay off.

There’s a few moments here where it does work very well – with highlights of Suddenly, Someone To Love, and non-single My Heart Won’t Let You Go. These play to his heart-throb pop star persona, and he even sounds like he’s enjoying it. Those songs have energy, warmth, and are catchy. The album hits plenty of middle-of-the-road/mediocre points, but there are a couple of low points via As Soon As You Know, and the dreary Christmas song It’s Always Christmas Time.

The album’s UK chart peak is pretty harsh, but the early 1990s were a busy time for pop and R&B-tinged pop, so he was inevitably pushed out by bigger artists, and catchier songs.

Rated 3 stars! It's a nice album.
  • POP RESCUE 2022 RATING: 3 / 5
  • 1994 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: #75
  • POP RESCUE COST: £2.49 from an eBay seller.

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