Over-egged and overly Mill sentimental set with the odd flash of something better
The Irish have always loved a crooner, and they’ve always had a liking for country music too (remember Country and Irish?) and Ultan Conlon’s second album straddles that gap nicely. This is not always a good thing, because despite the title Conlon is not averse to a bit of sentimentality in both his vocals and his lyrics. He also has an unfortunate tendency to throw the kitchen sink at songs, as on A Place Of Sanctuary, which is all backing vocals and sweeping (and unnecessary) instrumentation that drowns the song. But immediately following that is Dance ToPaper Roses, a simpler piece that works much better.
In the main though there’s next to no grit in Conlon’s music and the 16 musicians and singers he enlists to help him do not add any either. This is a pity, because from time to time he delivers a lyric or a couplet that shows he can cut to the heart of things but no sooner has he done so than he succumbs to the urge to over-egg the pudding (he’s credited as co-producer). Stripped down next time please. Jeremy Searle