Thursday, April 22, 2010

Music Review - Flogging Molly - Float

This is actually an album that took me quite a while to get into. The previous album, Within A Mile of Home, was a bagpipe laden punk album, with heavy guitars and a breakneck pace. In an almost complete turnaround, Float is nearly devoid of any punk, heaviness or anything resembling either of those two. I was expecting another album full of crazy drunk Irishman music, and I was pretty surprised at what this album really is.

Float is basically a folk/rock album, though I use rock here very loosely, as theres no heavy guitars or or dominating percussion here. Hints of Flogging Molly's previous punk attitude creep through every once in a while, but the majority of the music here is laid back, relaxed and mellow Irish folk tunes, with a slight leaning towards rock, mostly found in the faster songs. The writing here is much more traditional Irish, with most of the songs made up of multiple instruments (violin, fiddle, pipes) playing the same melody. Every instrument here is handled brilliantly and supports the other perfectly. The tightness of the band is just fantastic throughout the whole album. Songs range from softer acoustic pieces like Us of Lesser Gods to faster songs like You Won't Make a Fool Out of Me, which has a brilliant transition about midway through the song from guitar to flute being used as the lead instrument. There's really not a weak song here; every one is catchy but not cheesy, well-written and engaging.

My favorite thing about this album is just how relaxed it is; even the fast songs have a very chill feel to them but at the same time it's clear just how passionate the band is about their music. Theres also a real personal feel to it, and while a lot of the lyrics don't have immediately obvious meanings, one can tell that most of them deal with personal themes of the band members. This is a perfect album to play when driving at night or just sitting and reading and relaxing in general. There's just a good laid back feeling present on every song.

The highlight of the album, if I had to pick just one, is the last song,  The Story So Far. This is probably Flogging Molly's best song; a poignant, soft, slow ballad with a very nostalgic feel. The outro is just fantastic and definitely the bands finest moment.

In conclusion, while maybe not as immediately accessible as their earlier music, Float has slowly become one of my all time favorite albums. Chock full of catchy melodies, great vocals and lyrics and a relaxed but slightly nostalgic feel, FLoat gets a hearty recommendation from me to anyone who likes good, laid back Irish music.

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