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Various - When Irish eyes are smiling, a tribute to the Republic of Ireland Football Team (Cherry Records)

In case you've been in Mars for the past few weeks, the World Cup has been on and, with Ireland's qualification, came the obligatory tribute album. "When Irish eyes are smiling, a tribute to the Republic of Ireland Football Team" is brought to us by Cherry Records and there are at least 12 reasons not to waste your money.

The two opening tracks are the fabulously nostalgic "Boys in green" and "Put 'em under pressure", co-written by U2's Larry Mullen, but these are the two major plus factors on the album. Once we reach track three, things go rapidly downhill.

The Dubliners feature twice in a non-football-related capacity, it seems to me. Since when have the words of 'The rocky road to Dublin' rung out at Lansdowne Road? Their two contributions add to the whole fiddly-diddly nature of the album, making it something the stereotypical American tourist should love.

The Freedom's Sons' 'Fields of Athenry' earns its spot and even the London Celtic Lizzy's 'The boys are back in town' is acceptable (but nothing on the original). The remainder of the album, however, is packed with karaoke-sounding, typically dreadful, Irish ballad type efforts, except for the truly hilarious effort by what sounds like a legless Joe Kinnear and friends singing 'When Irish eyes are smiling'.

The word bizarre is the only word that could be used to describe Big Jack's own contribution to this affair. 'Simple little things' left me wondering how sane was the big man as he spells out someone's life philosophy to the sound of some cheesy accompanying music. And just when you think it is all over, it isn't. The Spherical Brothers' "Niall Quinn's disco pants" has to be heard to be believed. This disco track actually contains the title of the song as some of its lyrics, which should be enough to convey how crap it is.

The final track on the album "Let's turn the World Cup green" by The Boys in Green isn't that bad once you've listened to the preceding efforts. The song actually refers to World Cup 2002 and despite some cheesy lyrics, isn't a bad effort at a World Cup song, which aren't the easiest in the world to write, just think of all the bad ones.

In short, if you're flush with money, send it to some distant cousin you don't like, or if you're a sad loser with no life and you need to get the two opening tracks on CD to forever treasure the memories of those great days in 1988 and 1990, then by all means splash out your bobs. But for those of you with a life and better albums to buy, wait until next year when it's reduced to 1.99, but only if you found 2 in your pocket that you didn't think you had.

Niamh O'Mahony

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