March 26, 2010

Luka Bloom
Dreams In America
BigSky Records

There’s a yearning amid much of Luka Bloom’s song writing, the sort of which is all imploring, at times alluring and acoustically intoxicating. Dreams In America is no exception to this. It’s twelve songs traverse a wide gambit of emotions, most of which essentially regale the listener with tales lost love, found love, static love and a subliminal promotion of ye quintessential trajectory: all you (indeed) need is love…

From the initial foreboding of the opening title track, to the depth-charge sense of imploring on the penultimate ‘Be Still Now’ - a philosophical ode to the here and now along the lines of ‘Let It Be’ (‘’let love come to you’’) - Bloom meanders betwixt the pathos of such heartfelt songs as ‘Bridge of Sorrow’ and ‘Ciara,’ whilst intelligently facing head-on the bathos of such drama drenched numbers as ‘Blackberry Time’ and ‘The Acoustic Motorbike.’ The melody of the former most certainly lifting the album up a gear, while the lyrical interplay of the latter (admittedly a tad Dylanesque) is surely nothing other than acute binary benediction - especially the line: ‘’An appetite that would eat the hind leg of a lamb of God.’’

Following numerous listens (even whilst doing other things) the most evident shout is that of a sense of subjective demarcation. It’s as if Luka Bloom the writer has finally met up with Barry Moore the man. He, who more than twenty years ago, left Ireland for New York, in search of the quintessential American Dream.

Hence perhaps, the title of this album.

And while it invariably remains the case that one can take the man out of Ireland, but not Ireland out of the man; so too does the same very much ring true (if not even more so) for that of New York – regardless of nationality. As I too lived in New York for a number of years, and even though I haven’t been back for quite some time, New York has never left me.

It’s as if the city has somehow seeped into, or crept beneath the pores of my unthinking soul. To be sure, an unwanted life sentence; which, for all the hesitant longing it has somehow instilled, remains a longing I wouldn’t really want to part with.

Such, it at least appears, is the underlying scenario of this collection of predominantly acoustic songs, including the additional three live tracks towards the end of the album. As having lived in Ireland for a number of years now, Luka Bloom still retains something of a Bleecker Street quality within that of his song writing - which, till death do they part, will forever remain a residue of solipsistic subject matter.

Regardless of (Irish) accent and (delicate) persuasion.

David Marx

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