The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Entries for 'Mick Lynch'

12
Pet Shop Boys 'Pandemonium'
A review of the live album/DVD 'Pandemonium' by Pet Shop Boys Review Snapshot: Over 100 minutes of pure bubble-gum pop, absorbed in a rainbow of multi-coloured lighting, with a c...

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09
David Bowie 'A Reality Tour Live in Dublin'
A review of the album 'A Reality Tour Live in Dublin' by David Bowie Review Snapshot: Possible the last ever Bowie Concert to be captured live, before an Irish audience who play ...

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17
Fleetwood Mac (live in Dublin)
Fleetwood Mac (live in the O2, Dublin) Review Snapshot: A band that has been on the go for over 40 years, albeit with changes in personnel along the way. While the band may be deteriorating, the m...

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05
Prefab Sprout 'Let's Change the World with Music'
A review of the album 'Let's Change the World with Music' by Prefab Sprout Review Snapshot: Just like Brian Wilson's long-lost 'Smile' album, 'Let's Change the Worl...

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21

Rilo Kiley Under the BacklightReview Snapshot: With significant praise from the likes of Elvis Costello and Coldplay, Rilo Kiley change musical direction with this offering, and head down the Pop route. Probably the most refreshing pop-album of the year.

The CLUAS Verdict? 7 out of 10

Full Review: From the opening track, the recent single ‘Silver Lining’, you’ll fall in love with the vocals of Jenny Lewis. It’s impossible not to make comparisons with Christine McVie, and indeed throughout this album there’s an evident Fleetwood Mac influence. The brilliant ‘Breakin Up’ (surely a future single) sounds like it was lifted from Tango In The Night, while on ‘Dreamworld’ Blake Sennett’s lead vocals are remarkably similar to Lindsey Buckingham’s.

Casting the ‘Mac’ influence aside, it’s the versatility of Jenny’s vocals that steal the show here. On ‘Smoke Detector’ and ‘15’, Lewis goes all Country. Think Reba McIntyre meets Dolly Parton. While the music is bright, the lyrics are dark. ‘15’ tells the controversial story of an online dating relationship: “He was deep like a graveyard / she was ripe like a peach / how could he have known she was only 15”.

Sexual themes run through at least 4 of the tracks here (‘Smoke Detector’ sees Jenny sing “I was smoking him in bed...”). The title track is not the only one with an 80s influence on, ‘Give A Little Love’ also shows that the band have been listening to their Kraftwerk and O.M.D. records. ‘Dejalo’ is the weak track on here and ‘The Moneymaker’ is the heaviest, with the latter providing a catchy riff and hook that makes it memorable.

We may have heard all this before, but under the blacklight, there’s a bright one shining through and Rilo Kiley’s name is written all over it.

Mick Lynch

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.


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18

Hard Fi Once Upon A Time In The WestReview Snapshot: One of the most anticipated albums of 2007, Hard–Fi return with a rocking record, littered with strong tracks and ballads, yet not caring what anyone thinks. Doing what they want, and doing it with aplomb.

The CLUAS Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review: The thumping distinctive sound of ‘Suburban Knights’ lets you know it’s the return of Hard-Fi. The radio-friendly single is the opener on their second album ‘Once Upon A Time In The West, and it gets better as the album progresses.

‘I Shall Overcome’ is brilliant, with elements of The Clash and Rolling Stones blended together to make another rocking tune. ‘Tonight’ is unfamiliar sounding Hard -Fi. It’s one of the strongest ballads on the album and should give fans that see them live, a required momentary rest.

The piano-intro to ‘Television’ is the calm before the storm, it picking up momentum as it progresses. It’s typical Hard-Fi with its catchy chorus “television, not religion / everybody sing hallelujah”.

‘Help Me Please’ is a poignant ballad Archer wrote about the death of his mother while ‘Can’t Get Along (Without You)’ reminds me of The Ramones ‘Baby I Love You’, very 60s Phil Spector.

From the 60s to the 70s they proceed with ‘We Need Love’. Inspired by Billy Bragg’s ‘Progressive Patriot’, this could so easily have been a single by The Specials.

The closing track ‘The King’ sounds remarkably like The Verve’s ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ (probably because they used the same producer Will Malone). It’s Malone’s orchestral arrangement on this number that ensures it will become a future classic the band will be remembered for.

Overall an excellent follow-up to CCTV! Difficult second album me b****x!

Mick Lynch

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.


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23

Duke Special live in Portlaoise, Ireland

Duke SpecialReview Snapshot:
The Duke returns to the town of a previous nightmare gig, but this time wins the audience over, not once, but twice, with successive concerts within hours of each other, and proves that he's the perfect gentleman, both on and off stage.

The CLUAS Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full review:
My six-year old daughter is one of Duke's youngest fans, so we brought her to see him live, and not only did she witness a great performance, she got to meet him, got the autograph and photo, and the T-Shirt literally.

As part of The World Fleadh, Duke Special was back in Portlaoise to perform twice in one night, beginning with an intimate gig at the Dunamaise Theatre. He opened the show with 'Some Things Make Your Soul Free' and 'Closer To The Start' before telling the crowd how happy he was to be here as part of the World Fleadh.

After the uptempo 'Brixton Leaves', some of the crowd wanted to know where the missing members were. According to Duke "one of them was washing his hair, his chest hair. I've said too much already, but I will introduce those who are here if that's okay" he joked, before mentioning Rea Curren on vocals and accordion, and Chip Bailey on percussions.

The show continued with 'Everybody Wants A Little Something', then a song about a failed Bank robbery ('Don't Breath') and 'The Ballad of A Broken Man'. A cover-version that he's currently recording 'Catfish' was next, and it went down very well as he duetted with Rae while explaining that it's from a musical that was never finished. "I'd love to bring this out on wobbly vinyl" he added.

During 'I Let You Down' Chip went berserk on the drums, running up the stairs of the Theatre between drumbeats, which had the audience hysterical. He then treated us to his new single 'Our Love Goes Deeper Than That'. It was so new in fact that Rae needed the lyrics written down for him.

'You Don't Slow Me Down' was introduced as a song he imagined in a film featuring two French lovers. He goes on to recall a previous gig in this town supporting either Bell X1 or Juliet Turner explaining he has a tough time of winning the crowd over. "Now it's great to play Portlaoise" he emphasised.

Next up were 'Salvation Tambourine' and the brilliant 'Freewheel' before finishing with a couple of songs including 'Lastight I Nearly Died' which got the audience singing along to, for perhaps the only time of the evening.

The encore consisted of 'Drink To Me Only' and finishing up with 'The Slip of a Girl', a song he says is synonymous with Portlaoise. During this his Scottish sound guy added some reverb to Duke's vocals, provoking him so say, "What the hell was that".

There's no denying this was a relaxed, but yet, polished performance. I'm just privileged we got to witness it in such an intimate surrounding, because the bigger venues are just around the corner for this special talent.

Mick Lynch


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22
World Fleadh Festival 2007 (Portlaoise)
The Proclaimers, Katie Melua & others live The CLUAS Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full review: A 1:00pm start on Sunday was always going to be tough on he opening act, and Nizlopi drew the shor...

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23

B. C. Camplight 'Blink of a Nihilist'Review Snapshot:
From the same label that gave us Bjork, The Shamen, & Chumbawamba, with this album B.C. Camplight is assured of household named status. A possible Pet Sounds of the noughties.

The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10.

Full Review:
Just like many artists before him, Brian Christinzio (or B.C. Camplight to us) set out in life to make the perfect pop record. On his debut album ‘Hide, Run, Away’ was a good try, but now on his second album he’s certainly getting closer.

Opening with the brilliant ‘Suffer For Two’ Christinzio’s harmonies and piano playing make this sound like an unheard Brian Wilson gem. There’s reminiscence for Pink Floyd on ‘Lord I’ve Been On Fire’, and ‘Soy Tonto’ would sit well on any lounge lizard album.

Despite struggling with his own mental illness, he worked as a volunteer in mental hospitals and a New Jersey Jail, specifically to collect stories that he could write about, and it’s from these stories that he’s created this album. Some happy, some personal and some unique (such as 'I’ve Got A Bad Cold', which has a bit of Pink Floyd and The Beach Boys all mashed up together).

There’s something for all tastes here.

Mick Lynch


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23

linkin park 'Minutes to Midnight'Review Snapshot:
Even Rick Rubin’s magical production skills can’t save this mediocre album as Linkin Park set about looking for a new direction, and new fans, but in the process, forget the 40 million that fell in love with their previous sound.

The Cluas Verdict? 3 out of 10.

Full Review:
One of the most anticipated albums of 2007 sees American sextet Linkin Park team up with Rick Rubin, the man with the midas touch, as they try to expand on the success of Hybrid Theory and Meteora.

Recorded over 14 months, ‘Minutes To Midnight’ sees Linkin Park taking a chance at trying to re-invent themselves, but putting a weak instrumental ‘Wake’ as the album opener doesn’t do them any favours. By track two ‘Given Up’, the screams of “tell me what the f**k is wrong with me” doesn’t make the song a memorable one, and on ‘Bleed It Out’ Mike Shinoda raps over some out of date 80s clapping sound effects.

Chester Bonnington takes lead vocals on ‘Shadow Of The Day’ and he sounds remarkably like Bono. The song is very reminiscent of ‘With Or Without You’, but I put that down to Rubin’s influence.

The first single from the album ‘What I’ve Done’ isn’t great, but it does contain a haunting piano intro that would sit well on any Hitchcock soundtrack.

 George Bush’s war on Iraq isn’t ignored here either. The bands frustration is demonstrated on songs like ‘Hands held High’ and ‘The Little Things Give You Away’, the latter written shortly after they visited New Orleans, following Hurricane Katrina.

For me the standout tracks are the ballads. They may never reach the brilliance of Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty but on ‘Leave Out All The Rest’ Bonnington does a superb job vocally and displays the soft rock side of Linkin Park, a side that I never knew existed.

Speaking of ballads, ‘Valentines Day’ starts out as one, but halfway through; the band loses their way and are unsure what sound they are trying to achieve. They have saved the best for last however with the aforementioned ‘The Little Things Give You Away’.

With this album Linkin Park wanted to create something that maintained the integrity of the band's personality, but pushed their boundaries. The fans that bought their previous albums will have problems adapting to this new direction, and with 100 songs to choose from during the making of this album, I think they could have chosen more wisely.

Mick Lynch

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.


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Nuggets from our archive

2008 - A comprehensive guide to recording an album, written by Andy Knightly (the guide is spread over 4 parts).