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'Live At The Mac'   

-  Label: 'Believe Recordings'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '9th December 2016'

Our Rating:
Ciaran Lavery dismisses the notion of being tied to what he calls "sonic boundaries".

This is a laudable philosophy but when the album sequencing places a cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart immediately before Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas alarm bells begin to sound.

The Irish singer, who was born in a tiny village in County Antrim, also subjects us to an anguished version of Streets of Philadelphia.

All three of these tracks are aimed at highlighting Lavery's emotional sensitivity but, as so often happens, the content drifts into cloying sentimentality.

This album was recorded at the Irish solo singer's "landmark show" in Belfast in December where he was backed by a three piece string section.

The other nine songs are his own, including the two that have attracted the most attention to date: Shame and Left For America.

None tugged at my heartstrings as I'm sure they were supposed to. "I used to be afraid of falling, Now I couldn't give a fuck" Lavery sings on Return To Form but even this 'explicit' content sounds merely pleasant and homely.

Music to hold hands and gaze at sunsets to.

Ciaran Lavery's website

  author: Martin Raybould

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LAVERY, CIARAN - Live At The Mac
LAVERY, CIARAN - Live At The Mac