This review was first
published on CLUAS in 2003
Other albums reviewed in 2003
A review of his album 'Genes'
In the summer of 1987, A House turned off the light, let the cat out and put to bed one of the Ireland's best ever bands. Six summers have passed since that long, cool night in the Olympia. There's been new bands, new music, new personnel, but no new records.
Now, Mr. Couse has finally emerged from the house and produced his first solo recording 'Genes'. Emanating from the pen of Dave Couse and the production skills of ex-Orange Juice main man Edwyn Collins, we have an album of sharp, spiky pop with instant melodies and lasting quality.
If the tone and lyric content of this album is a little more introspective than
A House, the hooks and rhythms are as bright and breezy as ever with no song
clocking in more than 4 minutes. This is the album's strength, but also its
weakness because sometimes you long for a song to be developed and distilled
that little while longer.
Playing to his strengths, however, songs like 'Satisfaction', 'Will it ever stop raining', 'I almost touched you' and 'For Sale' are classic Couse and would grace any previous A House album.
But for me the highlight of this collection is his version of John Cale's 'Close Watch'. I must admit I never heard the original version, but one listen is enough to confirm this is an instant classic with a simple yet sublime piano refrain and a heartbreaking lyric concerning a lost love.
'Genes' represents a new departure and new musical chapter in the life of Dave Couse. We have waited 6 years for more of his wonderful 3 minute pop songs. And with 'Genes' he has delivered.
Just don't leave it so long next time, Dave.