Anytime a Celtic folk album includes credits for "beatbox" and "drum loop," it's safe to say that it's not out to please the genre purists. The problem with Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul is that it does not sound like an organic mixture of Celtic and rock/R&B influences, a combination that artists as disparate as the Pogues, Black 47, Van Morrison, the great Afro-Celt Sound System, and even Dexy's Midnight Runners have managed to turn into something interesting. Instead, this album sounds like Ivers has decided to expand her audience from the Riverdance/Green Linnet Records crowd, without exhibiting any innate understanding of current popular music. Listening to the album, one gets the rather sad suspicion that Ivers does not listen to or particularly like pop music, because these stilted pieces of faux Celtic rock don't work on either side of the stylistic divide. Even the odd fun tune like the self-explanatory "Paddy in Zululand" sounds like the work of someone who's been told to come up with something that sounds a little like Graceland.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason