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Peter Doran

Sleepless Street

Review by Larry Toering

This is a modern folk disc with many musical flavors to delight the listener. Peter Doran is a talented Irishman and this CD features him along with a great band that uses everything from strings to synth. Sit back and enjoy the smooth mellow ride as he takes you on the both wide and narrow path of musical exploration. This is a great disc full of complexity and subtlety, evened out so well by producer Filippo Goetani. It is simply a delightful musical experience.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
Hunter's Sketches

A groovy vibe sets things up immediately and Doran is underway with a song about the illustrations on his lawn. He is subtle yet intense, while the big sound completely engulfs the attention. Fantastic rhythm is displayed through this excellent opener.

Sacred Place
A softer number with a melodic vocal and occasional falsetto, this features cello and violin parts to a soothing effect. This does a very good job of getting to a “Sacred Place,” and a lovely acoustic motif really enhances the arrangement. This is a pleasant track, indeed.
This is a lyrical “say all,” as it tells everything about the one word title. “We're just stealing a quick look here / A snapshot of the infinite” and “all our days are borrowed and everything is swallowed into this bottomless eternity.” This is a deep cut with a sweet mellow approach.
The same vibe is kept here, but with a few build ups and downs that make it more complex. No turning back, from here on the listener is captivated by the beauty of it all.
When You Can
A piano changes things up musically, and a cello once again complements things. Many things are exemplified in a “when you can” sort of way. Doran's voice gets multi-dimensional on this great, but a bit too short, number.
The Composer
More cello and heavy rhythm really kick in here and swirl around the vocals like magic, and “the eyes of the composer / They become electric as the song slowly opens.” Those lyrics encapsulate a perfect description of the title. This is a very pretty track with just enough grit to balance it out.
Someone Else's Heart
This is probably the most melancholy track on the album, yet it's still somehow incredibly complex. The arrangement never loses its direction and keeps the listener interested with pure ease. This is very relaxed with moments of sheer intensity, but how else can another’s heart be described? This is beautiful!
Steeped In You
This is one of the best numbers on the disc for me, just a peaceful account of emotions with a catchy guitar to enhance the sweet vocals.
Twisted Freak
A slightly darker mood takes over here and some nice melodies kick in with a soft bite. This is a very interesting track with a complex galloping groove and electric guitar bits throughout.
Abstract Man
More electric guitar strumming sets this up and Doran gets the falsetto going to its best effect applied, with soft whispering parts and a big musical build up. This is a very touching track, and another of the best to be found on this great CD. This is probably the most revisited number for me so far. I really like this tune.
Moan and Complain
Well, some titles say it all, and this is one of them. A bit of fun helps squash the seriousness of it all and things glide until one is brought to a playful landing. More piano is featured here and to a satisfying effect. Otherwise, this is not one of the best moments, but it's still a very nice track.
Sleepless Street
Saving the title for last, Doran shows off his narrative lyrical and vocal skills to their best effect on this mellow tune. The lyrics are outstanding and delivered with precision and pure excellence. Moody and precise, yet loose and slinky at times, this sums up the entire concept of the disc with winning efforts by the entire band. It’s very tasty!
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