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The Sweet Colleens

10 Mona Lisas

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a cool album. It has a lot of roots music in place. There is some definite rock here, too. At times it leans on country music. At other points it's closer to Celtic. Then again, Celtic and country are not that different from one another some times. While not everything here wins me over, plenty of it does. I dig the variety in place, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Christopher
Alternative rock blends with a more old school rock sound. I like the hooks on this cut. The piano adds a lot to the mix, too. In general, this is just a fun rocker. It has a tasty guitar solo, too.
Heave Away
Here we get an old world inspired tune with a lot of Celtic music in the mix. It gets some hard rock built into it via the crunchy guitar. Yet there are shifts and turns into more traditional Celtic sounds in place, too.
Pyromania
Celtic hoedown music makes up the introduction. The cut works out from there to something more akin to an alternative rock sound. The fiddle sections bring more of that hoedown texture. They work through the rest of the tune by utilizing both of these sounds. The fast paced instrumental movement with killer fiddle work is so cool. For some reason this song makes me think of Charlie Daniels' "Devil Went Down to Georgia" quite a bit.
Walks in the Room
More of a balladic tune, this has a poignant story to its lyrics. It is built more along the lines of the alternative rock side of the street.
Boy Brady
Celtic rock is tastefully on display here. This instrumental is so much fun. It's actually one of the highlights of the disc, really.
Black Eyed Suzie
This is so energetic and fast paced. It's a lot of fun. It has Celtic and country hoedown elements at play. I suppose "bluegrass" might be a good description for this tune. I love some of the bass work on this, and the cut is another standout.
Little Bit of
Country music, folk and jam band sounds seem to merge on this, another highlight. The piano really shines, but so do the harmonica and slide guitar. This is just a lot of fun.
Never Tire of the Road
They deliver this one with a lot of country music in the mix. This is a classic old tune, and they put in a good performance of it. I dig their arrangement. This is actually a medley, though, moving out into "This Land Is Your Land" for a verse and chorus later in the tune. They return to an instrumental take on the main song to end it in style.
You Are the One
Alternative rock, folk music and Celtic sounds all seem present on this piece. It's a catchy number with some slice of life lyrics.
O Scotland
While one might expect a lot of Celtic sound here, we don't get that at first. Instead, this combines alternative rock and country elements to create the backdrop for the vocal movement. It does work out to a Celtic rock meets an almost progressive rock sound for the instrumental movement. It works back to the song proper to take it along the rest of the musical journey.
Smile in There
This comes in with an old-school down home country meets rockabilly vibe. The cut has a shuffling like of groove and is a lot of fun. I dig the walking bass line on this. I love the honky-tonk piano solo section on this. The bass solo is a great touch, too. The album title is included in the lyrics to this number.
Botany Bay
This is more of a balladic cut. It has a lot of folk music in the mix, along with some Celtic textures. The complementary female vocals on this one lend a lot of charm.

 

 
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