This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 3/03
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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There may not be a single song here that flat out floors the listener like the title cut of his last release, "Perfect Oblivious Moon," which is one of the best songs ever written. But this offering possesses strengths of its own. Multiple ones.
So looking at the present rather than the past, the enjoyment derived from these 13 songs are due to the collective observations, insights and profundities proffered by Maloney.
A simple yet touching example is a verse from "The World Looks Blue From Mars":
"...In the midst of this profusion, the earth looks so alonePowerful in its entirety, but the specific line "...dressed in simple colors like a poor girl at a dance..." is such a vivid and moving metaphor.
It lies amongst the splendor like a little shiny stone
Dressed in simple colors like a poor girl at a dance
A lonely, fragile beauty, with a proud defiant stance..."
Maloney has always danced somewhat with the oblique in his lyrics and does even enjoyably more so with this CD. The marvelous "Red Right Returning" is such a song.
In "Noah's Ark," he contrasts the biblical, two-by-two pairing up of animals with being solo, not being the one chosen for a relationship.
The word 'who' gets multiple and varied uses in the touching cut of the same name, as a little boy, still crying out the same question, grows to young adulthood.
Depicting a traveler's journey in the title cut "Pretty Little Mountain," Maloney sings:
"...I got no problem with the master designIn "Roll On Evangeline," he speaks of the title character's relationships:
Just wish the painter was a better friend of mine
Or that he would at least send me a sign
Whether I should go, or I should stay..."
"...Of course the game is rigged in this crooked house of cardsAs part of a tribute to his late friend Al Grierson, Maloney borrows from the Grierson songbook and performs a forceful version of "Things That Never Added Up To Me." He also dedicates the aforementioned "The World Looks Blue From Mars," an intriguing song about the relationship to and of all things, to Grierson, as well as mentioning his passing in "Red Bandanna."
But when the roof caves in we'll play poker in the yard
And where a lesser soul would falter and begin to not believe
You'll be standing at the table with a heart up every sleeve..."
Despite minimal backing, Maloney makes each song sound distinct, while dipping into that deep well of singer/songwriters, relationships, from a variety of angles and viewpoints. He simply keeps getting better and, better yet, his material is more interesting with each release.
Pat Maloney, on vocals and acoustic guitar, is assisted by Rosie Maloney on backup vocals, whistle, accordian and bodhran; Steve Piper on backup vocals and electric and acoustic guitar; Nancy Dalessandro on electric guitar and shaker and William Meldrum on shaker, hand drum and cabasa.
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