When Irish Songs Are Boring

The Basics
Maria Doyle Kennedy, she of Downton Abbey and The Tudors, is wading into the murky waters of the music biz with her fifth solo album.  She’s even managed to rope Damien Rice onto one track.
The Verdict
Beware actors or sportspeople making records, that’s what my mama always said to me. From Billy Bob Thornton to Waddle and Hoddle, the road to aural Damascus is littered with the charred corpses of people who shouldn’t have been allowed within five hundred yards of a recording studio.
On ‘Sing’ the alarm bells start ringing before Kennedy has even played a note. Such a limp-wristed album title should give you a clue as to where her head is at on this record.
The tunes themselves aren’t that bad, but they all melt into a soft focus mush of Irish folk. Drop the needle on ‘The Silence’ or ‘Twelve White Horses’ and you could be listening to the same track.
 ‘The Most Beautiful People Are Broken’ is the best track on the album, adding lap-steel and banjo for an easy swinging country and western sound. More of that would have been appreciated.
John Prine does a nice turn on the duet ‘Yes We Will’, his voice adding a bit of grit to Kennedy’s syrup sweet delivery.
Elsewhere, this is the sort of music that you only listen to when you’re on hold to British Gas. As much as I want people to spread their wings, this isn’t a record I will be racing down to the shops for when it comes out.
‘Sing’ is released though Mermaid Records on September 3.
 Click here for more info.
James Archer

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