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The Sky's Awful Blue CD

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 July 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Beneath Music
  • ASIN: B000066RIQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,036 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

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Three albums into his solo career, former Microdisney and Fatima Mansions frontman Cathal Coughlan is ploughing a lonely and unfashionable furrow, but one which is yielding considerable rewards. The Sky's Awful Blue, like its immediate predecessor, 2000's superb Black River Falls, is a powerful and compelling collection that makes a potent case for the contention that the Cork-born Coughlan is the finest songwriter currently working in Britain.

Musically, Coughlan is persisting with the journey begun on Black River Falls--having done pop with Microdisney and rock with the Fatima Mansions, he is pursuing a sparse, complicated but exquisitely tuneful folk-influenced idiom. Lyrically, the songs on The Sky's Awful Blue are consistent with the rest of Coughlan's oeuvre: employing a unique and instantly recognisable style, Coughlan remains fascinated with derailed and disregarded humanity of all sorts, whether the superannuated petty criminals on a mission in "Three Rusty Reivers", or the title character of "The Drunken Hangman". --Andrew Mueller

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By Dudley Serious VINE VOICE on 29 July 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Cathal Coughlan's profile is so low he probably doesn't even qualify as a cult figure, and that is a dreadful shame because his is an extraordinary, unique talent. Back in the 'eighties he fronted Microdisney, who walked a tightrope between his inflammatory lyrics and his songwriting partner's increasing penchant for Beach Boys inflected melodies. It could not last and they split in some acrimony towards the end of the decade. His next project, The Fatima Mansions, was a more fiery outfit where the music more accurately reflected the seething rage and mordant humour of Cathal's lyrics. The Mansions probably reached a wider audience than Microdisney, by virtue of playing support for U2, but they barely troubled the charts and record company wrangles put an end to them in the mid-'nineties. This album is his third solo outing and like its immediate predecessors (both also highly recommended), is a relatively gentle affair musically, largely acoustic and reflective in tone. The lyrics are a little more measured than in Coughlan's Fatima Mansions days but the passions run equally deep, and he displays a frightening knack for an achingly beautiful melody. His acute observations and sharp wit remain in plentiful supply and his muse burns as brightly as ever. Buy this and become one of his small but hopefully growing band of discerning followers. You know, if enough of us do it, we might even hear him on the radio and see him on television, at which point of course we will hate ourselves for allowing outsiders in on our precious secret, but let's do it anyway.
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Format: Audio CD
With impeccable intelligence, character, charm and elegance, Cathal Coughlan leads us down to the swamp of lost souls once again. He makes us want to stay there and look around for a while, enjoy it, come back wanting more. With each play, this album, this beautiful compendium of tragedy and ruin, just gets more memorable - and is perhaps his finest hour for many years. More coherant than Grand Necropolitan - his first solo outing - and more consistent than ' Black River Falls'- his second excellent album. Though it is altogether more accessible than either, it never relents in its examination of the worlds greasy pock-marked underbelly, never offering easy comfort or reassurance. Just when you start tapping your foot to the wide array of melodies and lush arrangements, you hear stuff in there about black-spotted lungs, TB graves, prostitution, alcoholism, death and missing kidneys - and somehow it still sounds enchanting - while retaining Coughlans trademark venomous and mocking pathos. Songs such as 'Goodbye Sadness, 'You Turned Me' and 'The Drunken Hangman', despite their conventional musical roots (bluesy, croony, even jazzy, rock/folk blends abound) are actually some of the best he has ever recorded, and are proof that his expressive powers have resolved themselves once again into a unique cathartic force, which is, as it has always been, both curiously familiar and yet totally unique at the same time -a poetry of the banal that rises way above its genre to produce gorgeous, generous songs of timeless splendour. And I'm not joking. Magnificent.
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By A Customer on 8 Oct. 2002
Format: Audio CD
When Cathal Coughlan releases a new album all surrounding music is thrown into stark relief. From the skeletal opening of And Springtime Followed Summer, to the gorgeous melody of Goodbye Sadness, past the Beach Boys tick-tock of The Last of Eternity and the woozy discordance of Pawnshop Riches, this is a rich and varied collection that demonstrates a man with a dextrous talent for all forms and a lyrical attack that only Dylan or Cohen can match. It's great.
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Format: Audio CD
ah cathal. a man who once wrote (and sang, duh) the line "watch the dawn in sick amazement" in his earliest incantation. musically styles have changed from the mid-atlantic breeze of microdisney right through the mayhem of the fatima mansions (and what fun that was too!).
tsab sees cathal follow on from the previous album, having got his act together from the uneven but still entertaining 'grand necropolitan'. the music is different to what i normally used to but never strays into mor territory - if nothing else the lyrics give the tales an edge you rarely hear. scathing lines like "technology stuff would mop those lives up" or "now rot your easy good night and good day...there'll have to be a fire" mixed in with occassional tenderness make this a joy for someone who normally only notices lyrics when they're bad. the album ends on 'the female line', over almost before you know it, as good a way to finish as any.
his powers are not diminishing
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Format: Audio CD
I absolutely adore this album. It's easliy one of the best I've bought in the last 10 years. It is an actual criminal offence that this record is not more widely recognized and given the praise it deserves.

I hear people comparing Cathal to Dylan and Cohen. I see more Cave and Morrisey myself but, really, comparisons are meaningless - this is a masterpiece by a unique talent( and no I'm not his bum chum or his publicist).

If you have any sense you will go to the top corner of this page and buy this album now - you will not be disappointed
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