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Favourite Irish albums of the CLUAS writers

Jimmy Murphy's top 5 Irish albums of all time...

= Act: Mumblin' Deaf Ro
Album: 'Senor My Friend'
In the midst of a tidal wave of singer/songwriters releasing home produced recordings, "Senor My Friend" is one of only a few that deserves to be labelled as "unique". Filled with chirpy finger picking and acoustic rhythms, these impossibly addictive tunes make way for some of the most imaginative yet realistic lyric writing you?re ever likely to hear. "Every Now And Then" and "The Ballad Of Lonesome Ray James" are fables by nature while "It Never Even Entered My Mind" is a heartbreak song written so simplistically; it?s impossible not to be taken in by it. Songs about love, heartbreak, lousy jobs and a few fables make you wonder whether Ro is a better storyteller or musician. As he sings "The world can?t stop waiting, ?cos I?m not going to change", let?s hope he doesn?t.

SettlerAct: Settler
Album: 'Hard Won Hard Wired'
The follow up to the hazy and folksy "Life Upstream", this record shows Settler in a more settled (if you?ll pardon the pun) and much happier pop-rock humour. "Duish" is a glorious tap-a-along with a banjo riff while "Fire It Down" and "New Song" are furious rushes that would definitely sound great live. Also, Settler do not betray their roots on this record as songs like "Brothers" and "22" hone close to the soft intermingled acoustics so commonplace on "Life Upstream". A great follow-up from a great band.

Nina Hynes 'Staros'Act: Nina Hynes
Album: 'Staros'
Nina?s first full album is a very dreamy venture wrapped up in surrealism, and it has undeservedly lived its life in the shadow of Gemma Hayes. "Mono Prix" was an obvious choice for the single and it rocks. "Last Song Of The 20th Century" and "Universal" are perfect examples of Hynes? ability to observe and write, while "The Other Side Of Now" is filled with distant hope. Such is the style of writing on the album as a whole; it?s a listen that will reach a lot further than your ears. Only poor production keeps it off my no.2 spot.

Boa MorteAct: Boa Morte
Album: 'Soon It Will Come Time To Face The World Outside'
Definitely Cork?s finest offering in recent years, "Soon?" is one of the most elegant Irish releases of all time. Melancholy but never depressing, the album is a collection of gentle melodies with lead singer Ruxton always floating his voice to perfection. Many of its lyrics are divulgences of history while others such as "Tired Eyes, they hold their water" make it very difficult not to be immersed by it. Consequently, songs like "Tired Eyes" and "Milking Machine" ooze poignancy while "North Star" is an atmospheric gem. For many, this is possibly the finest Irish debut of all time.

U2 "Achtung Baby"Act: U2
Album: 'Achtung Baby' (1991)
This writer is not a dedicated fan of U2 by any stretch of the imagination, but "Achtung" is filled with pop-rock gems, chart-fuelled or otherwise. From the electro-rock brilliance of "The Fly" to the world-renowned ballad "One", this is U2 at their best. "Wild Horses" and "Even Better Than The Real Thing" constantly reinforces this as good old-fashioned rock and roll and "Until The End Of The World" is easily its best track. Outside of all of that, this record?s most redeeming feature is how potently it belongs to U2.

(bullet) Allen Conlan (bullet) Anthony Morrissey (bullet) Brano (bullet) Brian Farrelly (bullet) Brian Kelly (bullet) Celine O'Malley (bullet) Chris Ford (bullet) Ciaran Wrenn (bullet) Cormac Looney (bullet) Donal Griffin (bullet) Dromed (bullet) Gav Reilly (bullet) Hugh Tynan (bullet) Jimmy Murphy (bullet) Jules Jackson (bullet) Ollie O'Leary (bullet) Stephen McNulty (bullet)

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