Muruch Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 23

Last week’s selection, Sinéad Lohan’s No Mermaid, has been a favorite of mine since I first heard Sinéad perform the songs at Mountain Stage in 1997 (my first concert) and it’s still an unusually beautiful collection. The Irish singer-songwriter sadly disappeared from the music scene shortly after the album’s U.S. release. I went into more detail about my introduction to Sinéad’s music and descriptions of both of her albums in my 2006 review.

This week’s classic album is…The Cure: Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me.

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Muruch Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 22

Last week’s pick, Heather Nova’s Oyster, is one of my all-time favorite albums. It is Heather Nova’s masterpiece and I’ve never heard anything even remotely like it. In my review of Oyster two years ago, you can read the details of my discovery of the album and descriptions of the individual songs. As I said then, “Nova’s melodic music, the brutal honesty of her lyrics, and especially her beautifully unusual voice seemed like a whole new genre at that time. If you’ve never listened to Oyster, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Especially the songs “Heal” and “Island,” but there isn’t a weak song to be found on the album.

This week’s classic album is…Sinead Lohan: No Mermaid. You can read my review of the album here.

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Sinead Lohan

Sinéad Lohan is an Irish singer-songwriter that, like many great artists, I was first introduced to when I saw her perform live at Mountain Stage.

In August, 1997, I attended my very first Mountain Stage concert. The main act that night was Joan Baez ,and she was supported by Dar Williams, Duke Robillard, Laura Love, and Sinéad Lohan.

Sinéad was touring to support the U.S. release of her second studio album, No Mermaid. Her first album, Who Do You Think I Am, was only available in Ireland at the time. The title tracks from both albums were covered by Joan Baez on her album Gone From Danger (named for a lyric “Who Do You Think I Am?”). “No Mermaid” was also featured in the film Message in a Bottle.

The strength of Sinéad’s music is heard more often in her voice and lyrics than the music itself. Her voice is a melodic husky half-whisper, akin to the subtle velvetesque vocal style of Cat Power and Beth Orton in their early works.

The Who Do You Think I Am? album is purely acoustic, singer-songwriter fare. But it does what it does well. I remember Sinéad mentioning at the Mountain Stage concert that one of the songs on the album was written about her father, but I can’t recall if it was the title track or “Bee in the Bottle”. Oh well. My favourite tracks on the album are “Who Do You Think I Am?” and “You’re In My Love”.

Is it winter where you are? Try to find me if you can

For reasons I won’t go into here, the lyrics of “Who Do You Think I Am?” are some of my favourites. Though it may be due more to the strong yet vulnerable tone Sinead’s voice and delicate guitar playing give to the song than the lyrics themselves.

“You’re In My Love” is the ultimate sappy love song. Especially if you’ve have the fortunate opportunity to listen to it while sitting with a loved one beside the picturesque lake in Glendalough, Ireland.

The No Mermaid album features many lyrics that hint at a jaded, weary outlook on life and relationships, but Sinéad’s vocals and music are bouyant enough to give a lift to her poetic, occasionally sardonic musings.

Heard in another singer’s voice, the tunes probably wouldn’t display such a wisely resilent impression of the narrator. The sombre music and vocals of the Joan Baez cover of the title track hold a darker tone, but I prefer the joyfully defiant feel of the original. Sinéad’s “No Mermaid” could be the sister song to The Waterboys’ “Fisherman’s Blues”.

“Loose Ends” has a slower, almost trip-hop (almost, but not quite) bluesy beat to it. When I first bought the album, it was my least favourite of the 12 tracks. But it grew on me and now it’s the first I play when I put the cd in the stereo.

“What Can Never Be” is not a song you should listen to after a breakup, unless you want to cry the tears of the truly heartbroken. Here Sinéad drops the pop polish and returns to the wistful, bare bones sound of her first album.

The semi-ballad “Out of the Woods” has consistently been my favourite on the album. There’s nothing outrageously innovative about the song, but it is pretty and poetic mood music that could easily fit on a chillout compilation.

I attempted to reach Sinéad and her management to request permission to share her music here, but the contact email on her website is no longer valid. If anyone has information on her activities in recent years, leave a comment.

Sinead Lohan Official Site

Buy Sinead Lohan Albums

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