Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fionn Regan - In the Bunkhouse, back on form, 28 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Bunkhouse, Vol. 1: Anchor Black Tattoo (Audio CD)
This is great news. Fionn Regan is back in cracking form, stripping his music down to simplicity and honesty, proving in turn that "less is more". This Irish artist entered the musical world with a loud fanfare with his wonderful debut "The End of History"; it was sadly followed by a poor second album (The Shadow of Empire) and then a decent recovery on 2011's third album "100 years of Sycamore". To be fair to Regan he seems hell bent on plowing his own furrow and on "The Bunkhouse Volume 1 - Anchor Black Tattoo" he has taken the brave step of recording an album with just a four-track and microphone set-up in his own Bunkhouse Studio. The lack of musical accompaniment actually seems to liberate Regan and play to his strengths not least formidable guitar playing and a growing penchant for storytelling on a grand scale. True the album is a bit on the short side and its more of an EP than a LP. The pricing structure around it also a bit of a mystery, but shop around and do not let that put you off a very fine musical feast.

The 10-song cycle kicks off in fine style with the precise finger picking of "St Anthony's Fire" a soft gentle lament, which is most endearing. Second song in is "67 Blackout" a more upbeat and wistful construction, yet one underpinned by a dark tell expertly narrated by Regan. It is the third song in "Clara to Calvary" that those who loved "End of history" will offer the broadest smile of recognition, not because it harks backwards, but because it demonstrates that the old songwriting muse is back and firing on all cylinders. The same is true of the jaunty title track with its slight echo of "Black Water Child". Much darker is an album standout "Mizen to Malin" which most refers to a journey from Malin Head, Ireland's most northerly point in County Donegal to Mizen Head in County Cork, which allows Regan to ruefully reflect with vivid imagery on the condition of Ireland and its troubled economic woes. The longest song on the album is lovely melancholy of "The Gouldings" which is beautifully sung by Regan, while "Salt & Cloves" again is a pure joy, The final three tracks deviate little from the course set in the first half of the album and all are of solid construct most notably the echoes of Leonard Cohen on "Bunkhouse" which has a slightly dark threatening edge and brilliant lyrics while the penultimate song "Midnight Ferry Crossing" is an almost Paul Simon like chord structure accounting a parting journey in the saddest of tones.

At 25 minutes in length the album could draw criticisms but it is small and perfectly formed, showing Regan taking reflective stock after large supporting concert tours of artists such as Fiest. He himself has described this records song cycle as "Irish punk ...because they're pure, made with just what I had at my disposal." The impressionistic beauties of these compositions hark back to songs like "Noah (Ghost in the sheet)" where Regan really started to carve out his own unique niche. As such "The Bunkhouse Vol. 1: Anchor Black Tattoo" sees Regan enter the hushed arena usually occupied by great American singers like Mark Kozelek, Damien Jurado and J Tillman. It is very fine company to keep and Regan is a very fine songwriter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.2 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Red on Black
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Top Reviewer Ranking: 33