Entries for 'Aideen O'Flaherty'
Originally published by Aideen O'Flaherty on March 30, 2010
A review of the album 'I Speak Because I Can' by Laura Marling
Review Snapshot: The second album from folksy songstress Laura Marling highlights why I fell in love with her music in the first place and why you should too. With a staggering lyrical and vocal ability and it’s near impossible to fault this album.
The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10
Full Review: The first thing that strikes me about ‘I Speak Because I Can’ in comparison to Laura Marling’s debut ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’ is that her voice seems to have gained a new strength and confidence. While ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’ is nothing short of excellent, a lot of her vocals were quieter and much more timid. Now, it appears that 20-year-old Marling is more aware of her awe-inspiring talent, and has no qualms about using it to her full ability.
The opening track on the album, and first single ‘Devil’s Spoke’ displays Marling’s incredible tal... [Read on]
Originally published by Aideen O'Flaherty on March 09, 2010
A review of the album The Family Jewels by Marina & the Diamonds
Review Snapshot: Put a striking Greek girl in Wales who grows up to have a London accent and you get Marina Diamandis, better known as Marina & the Diamonds. Her long awaited debut ‘The Family Jewels’ is a shameless pop album, mixed with a hint of indie and sprinkled with some eccentricity. This, it turns out, is a winning combination.
The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10
Having recently been put on almost every ‘One to Watch for 2010’ list Marina & the Diamonds had a lot to live up to with ‘The Family Jewels’. Detailing the world around her and the apparent perils of being a woman in the 21st Century (“Girls are not meant to fight dirty/Never look a day past thirty”) makes for an interesting listen.
The second track on the album, ‘Shampain’, has an 80s glam feel and slight similarities to Ladyhawke’s sound. S... [Read on]
Originally published by Aideen O'Flaherty on February 02, 2010
Dubliners Caruso are preparing to embark on a European tour and recently signed a European publishing deal. Since the release of their debut album, 2007's The Watcher and The Comet, they’ve been going from strength to strength with their affecting acoustic melodies. Front man Shane O’ Fearghail answered the following questions for me..
Many musicians find recording an album, particularly their debut, a challenging and draining experience. Did this prove to be true to you during the recording of The Watcher and the Comet?
Recording The Watcher And The Comet was an amazing experience. It was challenging and it did take a lot out of me but it also brought an energy that was all its own. That creative spark that you get when you are in a studio. In the flow... a flow that drives you and keeps you going... so much so that food and sleep go out the window! The album was recorded in three one week sessions over three months and three full moons. It captured evert... [Read on]
Originally published by Aideen O'Flaherty on December 05, 2009
A review of the album 'Hello Hurricane' by Switchfoot
Review Snapshot: After jumping ship from major label Sony and creating their own indie label called lower case people Switchfoot have returned with 'Hello Hurricane'. While there are tracks identical to their previous releases it's still an interesting and conflicting album.
The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10
Full Review: I really like Switchfoot. They're great, but they're predictable - there's always a 'heavy' rock track, an almost ballady song and the rest are a bit samey. Not necessarily a bad thing - you know what you get when you purchase a Switchfoot album, like a fateful friend you can always trust will only change slightly in the space of a decade or two. There are no surprises here, but after every band on earth proclaiming that their most recent album is 'different' it's really refreshing that some still know what they're great at,... [Read on]
Originally published by Aideen O'Flaherty on November 13, 2009
A review of the album 'Only Revolutions' by Biffy Clyro
Review Snapshot: The Ayrshire trio Biffy Clyro return with an album filled with explosive riffs and lyrical genius, featuring Josh Homme and a surprisingly suitable string section. It has all of the incredible hallmarks of a band headed for arenas, but still maintains some of the 'underdog' traits that originally made Biffy Clyro alluring in the first place.
The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10
'Only Revolutions' is... interesting. The album title was taken from a novel of the same name by Mark Danielewski, which requires you to flip the book upside down frequently to read two different narratives usually on the same page. Just from this detail it's easy to see why 'Only Revolutions' is a suitable title for Biffy Clyro's latest release, at times it feels as though you're cascading through a variety of unrelated songs which somehow have a consistency.
... [Read on]
Originally published by Aideen O'Flaherty on October 19, 2009
A review of the album Strict Joy by The Swell Season
Review Snapshot: At times underwhelming and familiar, 'Strict Joy' brings nothing new to the table and deals with much of the same subject matter as The Swell Season's previous albums. While people who were already fans will probably find this album enjoyable it did very little to grab the attention of this reviewer's ears.
The Cluas Verdict? 5 out of 10
Full Review: Since the success of 2007's 'Once' Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, aka The Swell Season, who both starred in the film and composed the soundtrack, have become highly regarded members of the Irish music scene. Hansard, portraying a struggling busker on Dublin's Grafton Street, and Irglová his love interest and a fellow musician in 'Once', raised their profile considerably and garnered much international attention, particularly in America. Their Oscar winning track from the 'Onc... [Read on]
Originally published by Aideen O'Flaherty on October 14, 2009
A review of the album 'Crash Love' by AFI
Review Snapshot: The Californian rock veterans make a triumphant return with their eight studio album, proving precisely why they've lasted so long and still have the awe-inspiring ability to always exceed expectations.
The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10
In 1991 in a high school in Ukiah, California, sat four teenagers eager to get involved in the punk rock and hardcore music scene. They decided to start a band and set about learning how to play instruments hoping to emulate their heroes such as the Misfits and The Cure. Now, several line-up changes and some genre-hopping later AFI have presented us with 'Crash Love.'
Their previous album, 'Decemberunderground', was by all accounts a success. It was well received by both critics and fans alike, their first single from the album, ‘Miss Murder’, garnered them some mainstream attention in the US (both ‘Decemberunderg... [Read on]
Originally published by Aideen O'Flaherty on September 18, 2009
A review of the album Words On The Floor by Tommy Reilly
Review Snapshot: The debut album from Orange Unsigned Act Winner Tommy Reilly adequately shows his tremendous songwriting maturity, cleverly expressing his thoughts about 'never getting the girl' in a frank and honest way.
The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10
So, Tommy Reilly. Yes, he won Orange Unsigned Act after originally being told by Jo Whiley that he "wasn't experienced enough." And yes, he is a talented singer-songwriter. But what's that Robin? He's not joining the "worlds-skinniest-jeans-in-indie" competition or adopting overly emotional, almost fake tones in his music? Joyously, he isn't.
Having been put through his paces on Orange Unsigned Act, most notably writing the excellent “I Don’t Like Coffee” at very short notice, Reilly has proved he can definitely deliver. In fact, this album clearly shows it.
Opening track &ldq... [Read on]
Originally published by Aideen O'Flaherty on September 13, 2009
General Fiasco, consisting of brothers Owen and Enda Strathern and school friend Stephen "Leaky" Leacock, have been setting the Northern Irish music scene alight for the past twelve months. Having already toured with One Night Only and Snow Patrol, and a certain Gary Lightbody singing their praises, this band is destined for big things. Lead singer and bassist Owen answered a few questions for me..
Do you have a specific method for songwriting? Is it usually lyrics first then music or vice versa?
It usually happens all at once, I'll just sit with the bass or a guitar and start playing. The chords and melody come together and sometimes the lyrics too, they generally write themselves. Songs just come, when it works it's good and then at other times you cant squeeze out anything. I guess it's to do with mood or whatever, you need a little something driving the song - a stress or a worry.... or maybe something positive if you are that way inclined.
What ar... [Read on]
Originally published by Aideen O'Flaherty on August 20, 2009
Gaggle, a 22-piece London based female choir, creatively infuse powerful, fast paced evocative music with an almost intimidating air. Though Gaggle are only new on the scene, fronted by Coughlin formerly of 586, these girls definitely know what they’re doing, and it's not to be missed...
Where’d the idea for Gaggle originally come from?
People who know me well know that Gaggle is the only logical outcome of my interests and talents. There's more music than ever, more bands, more myspace, everyone is in a band but most of them are just boring, ineffectual, limp splutters into space. I wanted my next music project to be powerful, warrior style burst of excitement, strangeness and something to annoy people who dream of being Johnny Borrell. I couldn't think of anything more powerful than 22 scary, smart women in evil monk-hoodies stomping and chanting about what it's like being a drunk, or being lied to, or the disappointment of being politically a... [Read on]