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Bloom has never made a dud album, and on the form displayed here, that’s not likely to happen any time soon.
Jackie Hayden, 21 Sep 2007
While some of his singer-songwriter rivals seem to have lost their edge, Luka Bloom continues to craft richly literate albums that make little or no concessions to vulgar commerciality.
That invention can stretch to backward tapes, as on the wistfully searching title track of his latest, on which Bloom’s voice is appropriately restrained on as righteous a song against nationalism you’re likely to hear.
‘Sound’ evokes autumn changing into winter, while ‘Out There’ provides a gentle contrast with some of the more pointed lyrics. ‘I Am a River’ is a faithful take on a slightly hackneyed theme. ‘Homeless’ is a Ginsbergian spoken paean to a man in California with thoughtful environmental overtones.
‘Star of Doolin’ has charming fiddle from Yvonne Casey, while ‘Change’ merges an infectious Celtic-folk beat and mesmeric vocals to marvellous effect and ‘Lebanon’ is just plain sad.
Bloom is partnered on this album by Simon O’Reilly, a multi-instrumentalist-cum-producer from Clare, and their work blends so well it’s impossible to see the join. The interweaving of synths with Bloom’s usual musical palette means that he rarely strays too far from his personal roots, and yet he never lets them prevent him reaching out towards other cultures. It’s even more remarkable to accept that the entire set was recorded without them ever sitting down together. Bloom has never made a dud album, and on the form displayed here, that’s not likely to happen any time soon.