Album Review: Paul Tiernan - The Mystery of Others

Review by Peter Nagle

"The Mystery of Others" is Paul Tiernan's 7th album and it's been 20 years since his debut release way back in 1995. In this time he's performed with a number of our treasured artists such as The Frames, Christy Moore, Sinead Lohan as well as being a member of Cork band Interference and relocating to France. With a CV this respectable can Paul Tiernan produce relevant music for 2015 that'll push him to the level of significance with his peers?

I'll answer this with the simple statement that "The Mystery of Others" is the best album I've heard this year. It's got the folk swagger of John Martyn with the right amount of vaundville to produce beautifully written dreamy songs that deliver. In many ways it reminds me of the last 'Iron & Wine' album because the instrumentation circles and entwines the vocals so beautifully on all the tracks. 

The songs that stand out include the single and opening track "A Kind of Boy" which you can hear above, "In The City of Thieves", "Holes" and my favourite song of the year from any act "Happiness". The swagger, dreamy folk feeling within "Happiness" ensures earworm status for days. 

So with "The Mystery of Others" I'm close to announcing greatness. However after numerous listens my love for the album swayed a little. There's enough really great songs to entice me in but the album has a few songs which head off to dead ends and therefore the album suffers a little from inconsistency. All that being said .... 

Paul Tiernan - The Mystery of Others [9 out of 10]

Buy the album: