Monday, 16 April 2012

Album Review - Mark Geary - Songs About Love, Songs About Leaving

Every Monday in April Mark Geary is your PLAY iRISH artist on Jon Richards Galway Bay fm. Jon will be playing 'Get Here' after 1pm! Mark's new album 'Songs About Love, Songs About Leaving' is due in all good record stores at the end of May and can be downloaded from Bandcamp now.



'Song About Love, Songs About Leaving' is Mark Geary's forth album. Mark has been based in New York for a considerable time but seems to be back in Ireland this Spring to promote the new album and to play a number of gigs. In a time when a basic singer-songwriter album of love and loss is no longer mainstream, this album does take a few listens to get into. However there are some really nice tunes on the album. 

Mark's musical formula of gentle guitar picking with them fine unoffensive vocals transporting thoughtful meaningful lyrics is in abundance here. My big problem is that Mark doesn't stray too far from this formula which results in many of the songs sounding very similar and lacking clear identities. When he does stray from the formula the result is generally effective. The radio friendly 'Get Here' is probably the most mainstream track on the album while the male/female harmonies on 'That's What They ...' with Jenna Nichols on vocals is simply superb. It's one of the best tracks I've heard this year. I also love the lyrics to the love song 'Stardust', while 'Vital Signs' is another top quality track. 


While there's four excellent tracks I struggle to hear real quality in the other tracks that I'm used to in a Mark Geary album. Even Glen Hansard's backing vocals on some tracks fails to enhance the tracks. I've no doubt that if you've seen Mark live or enjoyed one of his previous releases then 'Songs About Love ...' will be enough to keep you happy. For me there needed to be real variety in the songs to distinguish between them in the first instance and to give the tracks a clear identity. 

Listen to the Play Irish track here:


Mark Geary - Songs About Love, Songs About Leaving [8 out of 12]



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