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Album Cover The Tim Malloys - If You Were Walking (Fabulous Records)

Technically, this is sound. The instrumentation throughout obviously comes from musicians who have studied their craft methodically and carefully, and still manage express themselves without compromising any of their skills. The lyrics and vocals, however, are another thing altogether. I don't know why the fake (I'm assuming) Irish accents in this bug me so much, after all, some of the best country'n'western I've heard for a while comes from Australia. Maybe it's because they just sound too contrived, especially when combined with lyrics about the IRA and heath bogs and women "as gentle as doves." That, and all the characters in the songs named 'Johnny'.

I would, for once, like to hear an entire Irish music album that did not have a character named "Johnny" in one of the songs. The songs just feel too much like something cooked up by a bunch of middle-class Americans, who have watched too many PBS specials about Irish oppression and Ireland in general and decided to write some songs about it. Sorry, but this is a touchy area for me, especially after spending so much time of my own watching PBS specials about Irish oppression, from my own sofa-bound impressions, these boys are way off base.

by Holly Day