not a member? click here to sign up
Oh What A World
For a while during his 'Nobody Knows' phase it seemed like Paul Brady might be joining Chris de Burgh et al on the central reservation.
Jackie Hayden, 11 May 2000
For a while during his 'Nobody Knows' phase it seemed like Paul Brady might be joining Chris de Burgh et al on the central reservation. The inclusion of the collaboration with Ronan Keating for 'The Long Goodbye' on Oh What A World, his first studio outing since Spirits Colliding in 1995, might have confirmed your worst suspicions. But take heart. A few bars of that slinky rhythm guitar and that aching voice on the opening track 'Sea Of Love' are enough to confirm that the Tyrone man is firmly back on the hard shoulder.
Infectious tracks like 'Sea Of Love' and 'I Believe In Magic' reflect a happier, more carefree Brady than we might have expected. The jaunty good-time bluegrass exuberance of the title-track even banishes its exasperated title, with Brady and the band letting it hang looser than ever before on a song with a great chorus and a rhythm to exhaust the itchiest feet. We could do with more of this sort of thing.
Both 'Good Love' and 'The Law Of Love' have more serious pulses, while only 'Believe In Me' written with Carole King, falls below the overall standard and delivers little of interest. But 'Love Hurts' is as soulful and as sensitive as anything Van has done in the last decade. 'Travelin' Light' (not the Cliff Richard hit) recovers from a first impression of being a remake of 'Life Is What You Make It'.
'Minutes Away, Miles Apart' is real class, a delicate slow ballad with a melody that echoes Brady's folk past and is only marred by the use of the familiar lyric "a love like ours should never die" from The Beatles' 'And I Love Her'. But the final track 'Try Me One More Time' shows Brady outvanning the man and showing some vocal influences of Phil Lynott while showcasing his emoting skills on a blues-soul ballad that reaches the parts others don't.
While it'll score few points in the original song titles contest, Oh What A World is a Brady bunch of intelligent songs to remind us that he's still worth getting out of bed in the morning for. If it's not quite another Hard Station, it's only a couple of stops short.