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This is an album of shimmering, reflective songs in honour of two maternal influences, specifically this country and Spillane’s own mother. The singer’s gentle, expressive voice is redolent of the landscape of his beloved Cork, and his well-earned reputation for beguiling melodies is married here to a telling way with words and phrases.
Stirring uillean pipes bring pathos and drama to the wistful ‘Ireland Free’, while the single ‘There Was A Man’ is vintage Spillane and one of his finest tracks to date. ‘Dark Rosaleen’ moves up a gear or two musically, but lyrically it aches for happier times on this island, while ‘Who Will Burn Brightly’ has touches of North Africa, and ‘Beautiful Ballincollig’ is a romantic revisit of Spillane’s childhood to equal Van’s ‘Coney Island’.
The quality of the material and Spillane’s delivery elevate him above the more mundane and workmanlike competition. As Patrick Kavanagh once wrote, “Gods make their own importance.” They rarely come more important than John Spillane. KEY TRACK: ‘THERE WAS A MAN’ (Quelle: https://www.hotpress.com/music/my-dark-rosaleen-the-island-of-dreams-4589633)