Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Irish Albums of the Decade: 4 - Jape - Ritual (2008)

"Purveyor of the dreamiest, catchiest and most refined electro-rock you're likely to hear this year, Egan's songwriting science has never been exacted as fluidly as it is here. Injecting a dose of wry Dublin wit into his lyrics - often biographical vignettes of his Crumlin childhood (see zappy Korg-tastic pop tune 'Streetwise'), there's a healthy division of bouncy indietronica ('Christopher and Anthony'), anthemic dance-pop ('Apple In An Orchard') and sweet-to-bittersweet acoustic numbers: 'Phil Lynott' is a simple, smile-stimulating tribute to the Thin Lizzy star, while 'At the Heart of All of This Strangeness' supplies a comforting measure of melancholy.

Despite there not being a single duff track here, there are two tracks that go above and beyond their counterparts. 'I Was A Man' treads a blurry line between electro-trad, hip-hop and downbeat pop and is one of the best Irish songs of the past ten years, while closer 'Nothing Lasts Forever''s atmospheric, almost William Orbit/DJ Shadow-esque vibe ends the album on a spine-tingling high."

- Lauren Murphy,

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