Essence

The Rua

FOD, 2014

http://www.therua.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/10/2017

This little gem of an album is rather hard to find stateside, but for fans of Fleetwood Mac, it’s worth seeking out.

The Rua is an Irish sibling trio with more experience acting than in music, but their debut is surprisingly mature and emotional, pop-friendly but never sappy in its exploration of love. As with many Irish pop acts (the Cranberries, U2, Sinead O’Connor), there’s a melancholy that underscores the songwriting and gives it more heft than songs of this type otherwise have.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

But even casual listeners to Fleetwood Mac will recognize the heavy influence of Rumours here, not just in the lyrics and coed singing but in the musical approach to songs like “Fire & Rain” and “Without You,” which sound like two different takes on “Dreams” but with a little more urgency and less regret. Lead singer Roseanna Brown has a strong set of clarion pipes that are pushed forward in the mix – maybe a tad too forward, but that’s nitpicking. “Fire & Rain” is the third single from the album, released in spring 2017, and is the album’s highlight; start here if you’re unfamiliar with these guys.

“Into The Crowd” deserves note as well, as does leadoff song and single “Fight Fire With Fire,” which uses the trio’s classical music background to add some swelling strings over top of driving acoustic guitar, some great singing from Brown, and an Irish-infused break. “Hear Them Calling” follows a similar path, and “As Good As It Gets” lends a slight folk element to its pervasive Rumours influence, underscoring the drama with a compelling performance from Brown.

The middle of the disc goes a bit heavy on the strings and a bit less on the memorable melodies, but it’s still well-written and surprisingly mature, given the current pop climate and the ages of the trio. Essence may not change your life, but it’s a refreshing, absorbing pop album with class and heart.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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