Eleven Songs - Luka Bloom Album Review
Posted: 4th February, 2009
Was Kevin Barry Moorenow Luka Bloom.
Younger brother of legendary Irish singer-songwriter Christy Moore,
Luka, taken from Suzanne Vegas song of the same name, was adopted to avoid pressures of being related to his older bro. Bloom derives from compatriot James Joyces Ulysses.
His style is commonly known as electro-acoustic, with a finger-picking style adopted early on in his career, but tendonitis forced him to be strummer instead. He plays in the DADGAD tuning style through a bass amplifier, giving it a warm and haunting timbre.
Theres a huge roll-call of musicians on duty: 17, plus members of the Gardiner Street Gospel Choir.
This rich and warm album is very engaging. Not only that, theres a sincerity seldom heard in songwriting these days.
This has primarily been achieved by going for a more traditional live sound, a return to an earlier raw template, aided by (ex-The Frames ex-Kila / Josh Ritter) guitar wizard David Odlum engineering things. The album takes artistic cues from the simplicity of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Raising Sand album, not that there are any direct musical comparisons.
Lyrically, Bloom is bursting with inspiration, and there are plenty of melodies to keep us all enthralled at his mastery songcraft. Over 30 years hes remained consistently very good, so theres no change in terms of quality songs which have kept him busy and appreciated in both America and Europe.
Helping him on his way this time comes the second single Dont Be Afraid., an acoustic flourish, drenched in strings and sparkling piano sojourns with more than a dash of Celtic roots prevailing, boosted by sumptuous choral work by GSGC.
It is however, the stunning There Is A Time that rubber stamps his intentions, while Luka wistfully rolls his Irish lilt. The uplifting and reassuring Im On Your Side swings gleefully with a belting hook, though theres a lot of instrumental subtlety going on, with intermittent pedal ghosting in the background.
This is segued by the tenderest offering on the CD, the drifting ballad I Hear Her, Like Lorelei. Bloom almost hushes his way through which serves to bring empathy to the piece. Then, what should be a UK single release unfolds I Love The World Im In. Drums boom, the acoustic floats and strings and piano loop into action.
At his most passionate, Fire thrusts to frenetic strumming, while See You Soon makes a suitable accompaniment to I Love The World Im In in tone and flavour, with those magical strings leaning in part towards Damien Rice. For purity of song and effect, Everyman reveals itself as the jewel in the crown this ballad is a truly magical song
The verdict: Yummy.
Radio Hear tracks soon on THE PLUG at www.wrexhamfm.com