Album Review: Damien Dempsey - Almighty Love

Damo D is back with a decent personal album of tunes which will satisfy his fans and enable him to tour the country off the back of a few radio hits. 

I've listened to 'Almighty Love' a good dozen times at this stage and it gets better on every listen. At first I was skipping the cliché tracks about the downtrodden in society, moneymen and the protest tracks before finding the glimpses of true excellence typical of Damien Dempsey. Sadly there's only glimpses of brilliance in 'Almighty Love'. There are some very powerful personal messages of hope hidden among the tracks such as the last two lines of the track 'Chris and Stevie' where Damo sings "Talk to me and tell me how you feel, Lean on me I'm here my love is real" or at the end of 'Bustin Outta Here' where 'I Wanna Feel The lovely Sunris in me, I'm Free Today'. . 

I feel a sort of sympathy for Damien Dempsey. For years his popularity rose due to those powerful tracks written from the perspective of working class Dublin. His relevance was to provide a real alternative voice writing about real issues in Ireland. However with four difficult economic years in Ireland is Damien's message or alternative voice relevant? 

On 'Almighty Love' there's enough good songs on there to please fans with standout tracks including the title track, 'Canadian Geese' and the official album closer 'You're The Cure' which includes the line 'Almighty Love' to bring the album to a satisfying close. 

I sensed that the 'Fighting's side of Damien Dempsey was forced onto the album. The big error was slipping an updated version of an old track 'Maasai' on the album as the 'hidden' track. There's far too much 'Yup Ya' type stuff for my liking and simple rhyming of words like 'Well, Hell, Bell and Parallel'. Some of the backing vocals are shockingly bad as well as some instrumentation. Attempts at creating emotional sections of some tracks failed big time. There's a lot of negatives on this album.

However on recent listens on decent speakers I've really enjoyed listening to the album on a whole. I can tune into the good tracks and pick out the key lyrics and messages while ignoring the ordinary aspects of the album. I think Damien Dempsey fans will be happy but I can't see how a new generation of 'Celtic Tiger' pups will warm to 'Almighty Love'. 
Damien Dempsey - Almighty Love [9 out of 12]