Earlier this month PEI singer-songwriter Scott MacKay released his third album, “Stupid Cupid,” which was co-produced with Adam Gallant (Dennis Ellsworth) at The Hill Sound Studio and mixed by Scott Franchuk (Corb Lund) in Winnipeg. Backed by his usual rhythm section of Josh and Sam Langile, and joined here by Grant Siemens (guitars) and Burke Carroll (pedal steel), MacKay elaborates on the upbeat classic country sound he brought us with last year’s single release, “Half of Everything.”
Scott enlightens us with his evolving artistic process, “I really became smitten with songwriters such as Shel Silverstein, Hank Williams, Bobby Bare, Roger Miller, and others,” he says. “It made me focus my attention on improving my songwriting, and I tried to learn as much about it as I could. I took a lyric writing class, a storytelling class, and a creative writing class. I even took part in a songwriting workshop in Nashville where I got to meet and learn from some of the greatest songwriters in the world.”
“Stupid Cupid” is loosely a collection of love songs incorporating all the misadventures that the loaded 4-letter word brings. Starting with the title track, Scott sings us a story about how Cupid’s love spell went awry, causing the woman of his dreams to fall in love with his best friend instead. Stupid Cupid indeed! Skip to “Opposites Attract,” and Scott croons about being in love with a perfectly opposite woman; admitting they go together like “gravy and cake.” Love is funny in the way it connects people and MacKay sprinkles his sense of humor on his own take on love across the album.
“I didn’t make a conscious decision to write an album that had a thread of humor woven throughout, but as I started looking at the songs I had written, I noticed that there was,” MacKay says. “I wanted the album to be quirky and more playful than my previous work, but to also have a song or two on there that are a little more thought-provoking or emotional to reflect all aspects of my songwriting identity and also make for a more dynamic listening experience.”
My favorite quirky track has to be “Romance Novel.” Scott leads me to picture a bashful lady in her favorite reading chair enjoying an escape to her imagination. With her nose in a paperback book likely adorned with a hunky shirtless man on the cover she can dream on: “In the pages of romance novels / I live out my fantasies / I don’t need to resist scratching that itch / ’cause I get what I need when I sit down and read / romance novels.” Innocently having daydream love affairs while sitting next to her husband: “I don’t need to break my vows / Don’t even need to leave the house / Oh, I can do it right in front of him / He has no idea what I’m imagining.” I’ll leave the rest up to your own playfully naughty imagination.
“Stupid Cupid” is the perfect balance of fun-loving and thought-provoking relationship themes that will leave you wanting to tap your feet and curse Cupid at the same time. An enjoyable selection of tunes from Scott Mackay. Enjoy listening.