The Young Dubliners

Omtown / Higher Octave Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


One of the ladies I work with happened to walk by my office the other day, not long after I had popped Red, the latest release from Young Dubliners, into my CD player. She stopped, came into my office, and asked who I had playing. She then declared, "I want to listen to that disc!"

It's not often I get a reaction to what I play in my office (other than "turn it down", which has been topping my hit parade now for 135 weeks), so to see someone react so positively to a mere 60 seconds of music was amazing to me.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Which leads us to our review of Red... and my wish that Young Dubliners focus more on their Celtic roots than always the rock side.

Okay, that might be a bit harsh - and I don't want people thinking I'm trying to slam Keith Roberts and crew here. After all, the band won me over with such sensible pop songs as "Is That Me?", "Neverending" and "One And Only". Sure, all these tracks have some elements of Irish music in them, though they aren't always brought to the forefront. If the pop side of Young Dubliners remind me of anyone, I'd have to compare them to Rusted Root at times. Make no mistake, they know their pop - and it is very enjoyable.

But what I absolutely love about this band is the way they put a new spin on Celtic music - kind of like Riverdance, but nothing like it. Tracks like "Bodhran" (which was the one my co-worker heard) and instrumental versions of "Red" and "Neverending" show the amazing skill that this band has. It is amazingly easy to get lost in Young Dubliners as their music plays, and the trips their songs take you on are wonderful.

This past summer, I had the privilege of interviewing Andrew Giddings of Jethro Tull when they came to the Chicago area - and as we began to wrap up the interview, Young Dubliners took the stage at Ravinia. I found myself wishing that I had the chance to see their set and witness the magic live. Red is a close second, but something tells me nothing beats seeing these songs recreated in concert.

My co-worker is about to borrow this disc - maybe she'll discover the same magic throughout Red that I did.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Omtown / Higher Octave Records, and is used for informational purposes only.