on 15 August 2006
It would be easy simply to list a stream of superlatives for this album, but that wouldn't do much to explain why it would deserve such treatment. First there are the extraordinary arrangements; they trip across supposed boundaries so naturally that you quite forget that the "boundaries" were ever supposed to exist at all: folk instrumentation rubs shoulders with electronica; pop tunes shift into floating, gauzy textures of sound where melodies disappear; african rhythms underpin passages of delicate piano -- just as you think you've grasped the essence of it, it's somewhere else. At times it seems so simple, that it's hardly worth a second listen; then you DO listen and realise that it's utterly perfect, always doing enough to surprise without being showy. It's done with an ease that's breathtaking. Next there's the amazing quality of O Lionaird's voice. If you don't know it, then you have been missing out on one of music's great experiences. If you do know it, then I need say no more. It matters not a jot that he sings mainly in Gaelic.
This is a perfectly good place to start a collection of O Lionaird's work. If you like this, then you'll pretty certainly get on with the earlier Seven Steps to Mercy and with I could Read the Sky. If you know and liked those, this certainly won't disappoint.