This is the second record for Paul Creane and his charges. They’ve been quite successful on the continent and surely their everyman appeal should see them match that on these shores, with their gentle acoustic shanties being the kind of thing you’d hear filtering out of a music store to attract the German tourists on Galway’s Shop Street.
The Clock finds a nice middle ground between the Americana of Steve Earle and the Manhattan folk of Ryan Adams and it occupies that territory very, very well. There’s lots of earnest acoustic strumming, feel-good ballads and quiet closed-eyed moments of contemplation in this wholesome record which is good for the soul of country folk and those looking to escape to world.
This is a country/folk record and unsurprisingly that means there are essentially two types of songs. Upbeat and downtrodden. In Lieu of You, Breeze, fall into the former category. I’ll Be Drinkin’ In the Morning (And You’ll Be Dead), I Can’t Let Go of Cigarettes fall into the latter. Whilst She Was An Adventure combines the two.
There are some deviations along the way. Come Drink With Me is a moody ballad while Sorry For The Sadness introduces an element of Jazz. Baby I’m Down (But Gettin’ Up) is the star of the show with its stone drop beats and lovely vocal delivery.
While the musicianship on the album is outstanding and Creane is no doubt a talented writer, essentially, there is nothing on this record that gets the blood pumping. If country flecked folk is your thing, then you will absolutely lap it up but there are a thousand other bands that will fulfil your middle-of-the-road country/folk needs just the same.