Entries for 'Aidan Curran'

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10
A review of the album 'I Never Thought This Day Would Come' by Duke Special Review Snapshot: While never consistently matching the dizzy heights of previous album 'Songs From The Deep Forest', Peter Wilson still makes a convincing tilt at the title of Ireland's Best Songwriter. A few Duke-Special-by-numbers numbers aside, mostly collaborations, his new album contains more of the same catchy, heartfelt piano-pop with which he's now synonymous. A consolidation, then. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Not to burden the new Duke Special album with impossible expectations or anything, but Peter Wilson’s previous long-player, ‘Songs From The Deep Forest’, was simply astounding. Bursting with baroque ambition, soaring joy, searing heartache, witty poetry, warm sincerity and catchy tunes, it’ll soon be permanently camped on the upper slopes of Mount Best Irish Album Ever. (If not, it’ll be because of the drip... [Read on]
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13
A review of the debut album by The Gorgeous Colours Review Snapshot: The debut from the Dublin-based four-piece is a solid, likeable indie-rock artifact. There’s nothing that’ll frighten the horses and it’ll sound satisfactory from a summer stage. The Cluas Verdict? 6.5 out of 10 Full Review: Many Irish indie fans first came across The Gorgeous Colours as the support act at shows by The Immediate, now-defunct next-big-things of season 2006-07. The two Dublin bands shared an alt-rock sound that will be classic for some, unoriginal for others. One can imagine how inconsolable Immediate fans, clutching their tear-stained ‘In Towers And Clouds’, will find much solace in The Gorgeous Colours’ debut. In general, this record is a throwback to two familiar indie strands. You have the jaunty jangling of ‘Holey Moley’ and weak opening track ‘Means To An End’, where the band don’t quite pull off the breezy, c... [Read on]
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07
A review of the album 'The Hare's Corner' by Colm Mac Con Iomaire Review Snapshot: The solo project of trad-meets-world from the Frames violinist is well-played and thoughtfully crafted throughout. But you yearn for a spark of electricity to liven up the unrelenting politeness of the whole affair. By no means a bad record – just uneventful and ultimately featureless. Let this hare sit. The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: The first cinemas put a piano-player at the foot of the screen and he would plink-plonk along to the action in the film, enhancing the onscreen sentiment and prompting us how to react. Today, we almost invariably describe instrumental music as ‘cinematic’. It doesn’t exist independently, but serves to soundtrack something. We expect it to evoke epic landscapes and hyperdramatic situations. Regardless of this, Glen Hansard’s nixer, as uncinematic as cinema music can get, has earned him an Oscar. No... [Read on]
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25
A review of the album 'Year Of The Husband' by The Dudley Corporation Review Snapshot: The Dublin trio return at last, bringing us a mixed bag of well-written alt-pop songs (yay!) filled out with Radiohead-style post-rock noodling (nay!). Likeable and interesting, it’ll charm you at times – but you’ll hardly get swept off your feet. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: The more sentimental indie fans among you may find it charming that The Dudley Corporation story has gone from “The Lonely World Of…” to “In Love With…” and has now reached marriage. “Year Of The Husband” is named for the fact that the three Corpo members (Dudley, Joss and Mark) all got married during the making of this album. Not that it’s a slushfest of marital bliss, but “Year Of The Husband” certainly has a romantic tint to it, with plenty of lovelorn lyrics and sweet arrangements. However, the ... [Read on]
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14
A review of the album 'The Age Of The Understatement' by The Last Shadow Puppets Review Snapshot: So here's Alex Turner's side project: a fairly unoriginal Scott Walker pastiche, with Duran Duran-esque lyrics. Of course, this must be down to that bloody Miles Kane, right? The Cluas Verdict? 5 out of 10 Full Review: Comparing The Last Shadow Puppets with The Raconteurs is obvious, but it's still worth our while: Both Jack White and Alex Turner have won extravagant acclaim in their day-job groups (The White Stripes and The Arctic Monkeys respectively) for little other than flogging retro-rock to nostalgic middle-aged music hacks and twentysomethings who are prematurely nostalgic and middle-aged. However, White's side-project made the daring leap from '70s rock to... '60s rock, that of The Small Faces and George's songs on 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver'. And what do you know? Turner's time machine has followe... [Read on]
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14
Joe Jackson 'Rain'
A review of the album 'Rain' by Joe Jackson Review Snapshot: Classic-hits MOR jazz-pop craftsmanship. Classic-hits MOR jazz-pop craftsmanship. Classic-hits MOR jazz-pop craftsmanship. (repeat to fade, just like Jackson does). Anyone making coffee? The Cluas Verdict? 4 out of 10 Full Review: Like Elvis Costello (and Joe Strummer too, it must be said), Joe Jackson was a non-punk who took full advantage of the '76 revolution and slipped into the mainstream music scene. His tense, sinewy hits from the late '70s, 'It's Different For Girls' and 'Is She Really Going Out With Him?' still enjoy classic-hits airplay today. And those wimpy-male titles and observational lyrics ensure the songs continue to soundtrack any TV or film scene where a drippy, over-analytical thirtysomething guy gets heartbroken (think of Raymond in 'Bachelor's Walk').   After his chart success, Jackson turned tow... [Read on]
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11
A review of the album 'Opium' by Mark Geary Review Snapshot: Well, it's not poppy, and neither is it addictive. Unadventurous, overserious, monotonous and lacking in individuality and personality, 'Opium' embodies all the worst traits of the Irish acoustic singer-songer sound. The Cluas Verdict? 4 out of 10 Full Review: In August 2004, promoting his album 'Ghosts', Mark Geary gave an interview to the Irish edition of the Sunday Times. In it, he was at pains to distance himself from "the Whelan's lock-in crowd" (the Dublin singer-songer circle that frequented the well-known bar and venue) and "the Glen and Damo scene".   Recounting his experiences with American record companies and promoters, he also spoke of "fighting for your right to fail" - a line from the album's title track. (Angered by this self-contented lack of ambition, your reviewer criticised Geary in an opinion piece on t... [Read on]
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12
A review of the album 'Carry The Meek' by Ham Sandwich Review Snapshot: We could say that Ham Sandwich's debut is filling while having no filler, but that'd be very laboured and boring and 'Carry The Meek' is neither of those things. It's catchy and confident, drawing on '90s US college alt-pop and featuring an impressive performance from co-singer Niamh Farrell. With several radio-friendly singles already to its credit, this is the first of 2008's great Irish albums. The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10 Full Review: Ham Sandwich, a terribly bland name for a band? Au contraire! What other Irish act is getting this much attention just for their name? And it's surely no worse than calling your group something lame and unoriginal like Nirvana or Oasis. At the other extreme, it's unfortunate that Podge McNamee's perceived wackiness has coloured many people's reaction to the band and their music. However crucial he may b... [Read on]
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06
Sebastien Tellier (live at the Centre Pompidou, Paris) Review Snapshot: An unusual location for, it must be said, a singular performer. The hairy, scary electronician brings his French lover routine to the famous Paris contemporary art museum. Unfortunately, his new synth-ballad material is nothing to get excited about. But the stripped-down version of 'La Ritournelle' was marvellous - and Tellier is always an engaging and entertaining live performer. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Have you been to the Centre Pompidou? You know where we mean. Wedged between naff Les Halles, sleazy Rue Saint Denis and ultra-hip Le Marais. Ugly on the outside, conceptually-arty on the inside. Music blaring on the plaza in front of it, either cutting-edge Tecktonik dancers or hitsville buskers. From the top, a great view of all Paris. No better location, then, for Sebastien Tellier to showcase his new album, 'Sexuality', on 29 February last. A mixture of naf... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, France
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05
A review of the album 'Situation' by Buck 65 Review Snapshot: The tenth album by the Canadian rapper, Feist's occasional dancing partner, is an unremarkable collection of same-old-same-old beats coupled with dense social-commentary influenced by 1950s seediness. By no means a bad album, but it will only excite that small Venn diagram segment where 'Public Enemy fan' overlaps with 'James Ellroy fan'. The Cluas Verdict? 5 out of 10 Full Review: Not to be confused with Buckcherry, Buck Owens or Eiffel 65, Buck 65 is one of the many aliases of Canadian rapper Ricardo Terfry. If you're not well up on your Canadian rap, you may have seen him dancing romantically with Feist in the video for her breakthrough single 'One Evening'. 'Situation', Terfry's tenth album in twelve years as Buck 65, is a concept album about 1957 - according to a post by Terfry on his MySpace page, "the year th... [Read on]
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