Ruthless Cupid is the second EP from Northern Irish singer/songwriter Ryan McMullan. McMullan says, “The concept of the EP is based on the argument that Cupid may not be the humanitarian we may have been led to believe he is. To take the infamous matchmaker and call him out for playing with love rather than servicing it.”
McMullan has experimented with his sound in the past, working most notably with Beoga. This time, McMullan has worked with Ryan McMullan of Elma Orkestra and it’s O’Callaghan’s work on the EP which really stands out. The violins, spacey tones, synths and drums make this EP feel so full and warm throughout. Two of the EP’s four tracks have already been released, but it’s the other two, Outcry and Some Kind of Perfect which stand out.
Outcry starts with the picking of guitar followed by McMullan's clear vocals and the sound of drums echoing in the background. “If you tell me you’re hurting, I’m hurting too yeah, don't tell me you’re fine unless you’re fine, I’ll wait for the outcry,” is a beautiful melody run which perks up your ears and O’Callaghan's beautiful work kicks into the chorus making it sound full of depth and really making you want to turn it up just that little bit more in your headphones.
Some kind Of Perfect also has another great melody run near the very start making you feel excited to see where it’s going to lead onto. As the bridge kicks in it is again the melody that makes this song stand out. This one is more upbeat, a good summer song that you could turn up in the car and sing along with. Ruthless Cupid is a strong EP. O'Callaghan has done beautiful work producing this making it sound the best it could be.
The one flaw I feel with this EP is just how much of the Ed Sheeran sound has crept into it. Opening track In A Heartbeat starts with a picking guitar sound before McMullan’s vocals cut in, reminiscent of Sheeran’s single Lego House. There are more similarities in Outcry and there is a distinctive vocal vibrato that McMullan seems to have borrowed from Sheeran.
If you are a fan of Ed Sheeran then this EP is something you are really going to love. It’s packed with nice melodies and relatable clean pop lyrics made for radio but McMullan’s best move on Ruthless Cupid was choosing to work with O’Callaghan.