Check out these reviews:
Jammerzine: “Donegan has resurrected an idea that most artists have either shunned because it’s too focused of a concept or simply to difficult to achieve successfully and that is the concept album. … Each track provides a musically solid chapter that embeds its own unique thematic style and conceived composition via a truly thought-out and original project. Imagine songwriters given a chance to write a script. And, while each song is solid on it’s own footing, Donegan show that, as a concept, songs are like family: they are stronger when they are together.” https://jammerzine.com/the-test-drive-donegan-1stxi/
RingMaster: “It is tapestry of styles and flavours embracing folk, rock, pop, and more with progressive fuelled imagination embracing the past handful of decades. At times it is cinematic; at times an intricate collusion between orchestral grandeur and earthier rock textures and from start to finish a fine relationship between intimacy and the wider aspects it can allude to.
The majestic intimation of Requiem is the album’s gateway, the track a shadowed almost gothic serenade of keys and inviting rhythms awash with a chorus of warm harmonies amidst similarly radiant melodies. Its captivating presence leads into the reflection of Reminisce, an emotive caress woven with the suggestive prowess of synths and keys and shaped by the magnetic touch of guitar and rhythms. The soft touch of the vocals for personal tastes did not have the drama of the sounds around them or quite the impact yet undeniably adds to the heart of song and album.
The individual craft and imagination of the trio continued to entice as tracks like the infectious Around the World, a pop rock seeded song reminding of British indie band The Toniks, and the classically spiced Waking built on the album’s strong start. There is a definite Vangelis like progressive and electronic glaze to the song, a hue which echoes across the release to add to its allure, before the band’s new single steps forward. I Wonder is another blending pop and progressive rock with electronic enterprise, a catchy but slightly reserved proposition which has hips swaying rather than swinging and ears more than happy to regularly repeat their union.
The dark almost portentous march of next up Democracy swiftly captivated with its opening funereally gliding stroll. It is a great fusion of melancholy and lively spirit which only escalated its lure across the song’s brief but superb body, easily the album’s finest moment though the flirtatious dance of Television makes a close rival with its Riviera hue and frivolous smile. For us 1st XI is an album which blossoms and gets stronger song by song, this pair its pinnacle and the spark to a rich in sound and adventure second half.
As Falling, with its sensitive heart and celestial sounds and the pop ‘n’ roll of Human Behaviour pass through ears , the album only broadens its landscape of imagination, their successor Candles adding to that adventure with its melancholic theatre of emotion and sound. Again though there is warmth to the song, an enticing uplifting swing which lines its rising cinematic soundscape.
Closed by the melody woven expanding croon of The End, the album is a highly pleasurable encounter. Admittedly, its first listen left us a touch unsure of feelings towards it but from then on it just persuaded and pleased whilst revealing the potential of even more gripping journeys with Donegan ahead.” https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/front-and-centre/
Vents Magazine: “With a wealth of musical variety and an engaging narrative journey, Donegan’s full-length debut is replete with varied and adventurous instrumentation across a range of genres.”