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Moving Hearts - The Storm CD (album) cover


Moving Hearts


Prog Folk

3.98 | 5 ratings

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3 stars MOVING HEARTS was set up as a cooperative when initially formed, with all members sharing in both the expenses and revenues. As with many such aggregations, changes were the rule, and there is no evidence to suggest that any of those shifts in personnel and style represented anything other than natural if chaotic evolution. Thus when they turned from politically savvy Irish folk rock with prog influences to jazz-inflected traditional (or traditional styled) instrumentals, it seemed nobody batted an eye. The incarnation only lasted for one studio album, "The Storm", but the shock waves continue to reverberate, and it is this incarnation, of course loosely speaking, that reforms occasionally to the present.

Composed of only 3 multi part tracks, "The Storm" is basically a long medley of jigs and reels that start off like cookie cutter performances before subtle and less subtle rhythms and shifts of pace are interjected. The key lead instruments are Davy Spillane and Declan Masterson's uillean pipes and Keith Donald's saxes, but the drums, bodhran and bass and the manner in which they deftly interpose jazzy accents are also critical. Master instrumentalist Donal Lunny craftily integrates synthesizers that augment this freshness without descending into a 1980s keyboard morass.

My personal favourite here is "The Titanic", particularly the second segment, "A Breton in Paris", with an accelerating urgency that culminates in a manic dance of sax dragging keyboards into the drink by their high heels. Brilliant, and sadly not imitated enough. Additionally, "Tribute To Peadar O'Donnell" is the piping hot summit.

While I do enjoy "The Storm", I ultimately fall more on the side of the first incarnations of this band, which were albeit less progressive but compensated with their hard rock take on the genre and their political acumen. "The Storm" is dressed up well for a nightclub, but underneath remains those very jigs and reels that are repeated several times too often for those who could do without them entirely. 3.5 stars rounded down because I'm not sure the average prog fan would consider this a perfect storm.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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