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Somnambular Ballads

These soul boy Dubs are one of this nation’s best bands.

Rating: 8 / 10

Eamon Sweeney, 29 Oct 2003



Behold the great news, Ireland’s best kept pop genius secret is back. Saville’s 2000 debut Is Anybody Happier Today? was one of the finest Irish long players of recent years, even if it didn’t exactly set the world on fire or see them join the local class of early 21st century chart toppers.

The gorgeously named Somnambular Ballads will thrill long term fans and new ears alike. A more polished and assured album than its predecessor, it frequently hits pure pop heaven providing a delicious banquet of sound for the heart and soul. It’s also beautifully soulful, tender and emotive, as imploring vocal melodies guide us through another 13 sparkling tunes.

It sets its stall with ‘I’ve Lost Touch With The World’ – a melancholic end of a relationship lament. It’s got all the well crafted swagger and touch of a mid-period R.E.M. tune such as ‘Fall On Me’. A Smithsonian knack for delivering killer pop and a similar sense of bug-eyed romanticism á la the Badly Drawn Boy school of songwriting is peppered throughout Somnambular Ballads.

It may be soporific in places but this balladry certainly won’t send you to sleep. Au contraire, you’ll wake up and smell the coffee and realise that these soul boy Dubs are one of this nation’s best bands.
Rating: 8 / 10

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