Eamon Friel,
(Thran, 2009)

With this new album, Eamon Friel continues to plough the fertile land of personal experience. His songs are rooted in the ordinary, the everyday, in what you and I can and do experience.

He opens Smarter with what is almost an invitation, "I Hope You Sing." As I stated above, his songs reflect the ordinary and the real; "Across" is a simple song about something we have all done -- skimming stones on water -- but he finds its beauty and expresses it in song.

"In for the Day" is a duet with Mary Dillon and reflects on a visit to the city. He returns to an earlier time in his homeland on "Put the Past Away," as he sings of the way "the troubles" made Northern Ireland the focus of news crews from all corners of the globe ... but now matters have changed and "we're of little interest now."

A new release by Eamon Friel is always an event for the artist in search of new material. Friel is a wonderful songwriter who focuses on the everyday concerns of ordinary people and so produces material suitable to many singers. The song on the album most likely to surface from other performers is "The Kingdom of Love" -- Friel sings about the mundane, the ordinary and also the more esoteric with allusions to "the kingdom of God" rubbing shoulders with "a man on the street and he played a guitar."

He maintains a strong output over the 11 tracks on offer and proves the adage that to appeal to the world you should keep it local.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Nicky Rossiter

24 October 2009

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