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Tir Na Nog - Tír Na Nóg CD (album) cover


Tir Na Nog


Prog Folk

3.19 | 8 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Irish folk duo that was part of the Irish folk revival, although TNN sounded neither Celtic, nor Irish. Having been turned down by Island, they signed the very next day for Chrysalis and toured extensively with Tull, ELP and others, building a strong following on the Uni circle. Their self-titled debut album (released in 71) was preceded by a single I'm Happy to Be With/ Let My Love Grow, which was so typical in announcing the duo's freshness and always positive music. Indeed both guitarist played other instruments, but they were most efficient and effective when both strumming away. In some regards they can be likened to Bert Jansch and John Renbourn playing together, Condell and O'Kelly's voices are such a perfect match for each other that you may not realize who is singing. Out of the 13 tracks present on the album, seven are from Condell and five are from O'Kelly, the last being a cover.

This debut album is relatively low key, but holds two of the most important tracks in TNN's discography, the eponymous Jansch-like small epic about their legendary name's origins, which means Land Of Youth, sung with much solemnity and drama; and the fantastically positive Looking Up where the two guitars intertwine over a simple bongo. The rest of the album has a problem living up to these two marvels, but by all means, it's not that it's weak, it's mostly that the afore-mentioned two are so strong, they can't help but overshadow the rest. Out of the pack, if I had to pick two more tracks, I'd probably go for Dance Of Years and Live A Day.

A good debut album, but maybe the weaker of their three historical studio efforts, TNN is well worth owning, but just misses the essential epithet, but it's definitely a good prog folk album. One of the sad thing is that BGO re-issued the album omitting the preceeding single, which would've added much appreciated bonus tracks.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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