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Horslips - Dancehall Sweethearts CD (album) cover

DANCEHALL SWEETHEARTS

Horslips

 

Prog Folk

3.78 | 20 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tony Fisher
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The third album from the greatest band ever to emerge from Ireland (or just about anywhere else for that matter) is a much more loosely conceptual collection than its predecessor, being based on the ramblings of blind Irish harper O'Carolan. There's much more of a rock feel than before and some of the traditional folk element is gone, but the recording quality is superb - the instruments stand out clearly and with excellent dynamics. Nighttown Boy kicks off with a punchy guitar riff, saxophones and some excellent fiddle work. The Blind Can't Lead the Blind has some complex backing vocals and We Bring the Summer With Us is a novel style for the band as it is essentially a huge synth and organ piece a la Wakeman. On side 2, Mad Pat and Blindman are excellent songs but King of the Fairies is a masterpiece - you just have to get up and jig. Charles O'Connors fiddle, Jim Lockharts's keyboards and Johnny Fean's guitar swop solos; Fean is one of the all time greats. But the crowning glory is the poignant The Best Years of Our Lives, a lament for a musician long dead which could be almost autobiographical. The album cover shows them looking utterly worn out after incessant touring and the lines "they took me how they found me and the whisky nearly drowned me" suggests that they too may have had a hard time! Eamonn Carr provides the lyrics and, since he was originally a poet, they are always classy. The only thing that stops it getting 5 stars is that it isn't quite as good as its predecessor, the Tain. But it's still damn good and would get 4 and a half if it were possible.
Tony Fisher | 4/5 |

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