Four Men & A Dog

Long Roads

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During the '90s, the world saw an explosion of interest in Irish music and Irish artists. Traditional music underwent a renaissance, and rock and folk with heavy traditional influences saw a great deal of popularity as well. Long Roads seems to attempt to buy into both these areas, and by seeking to satisfy everyone, it satisfies no one.

The most successful parts of this album are those that stick to traditional music -- there are a few tracks that are all traditional, or incorporate traditional melodies heavily into original songs. The original work offers nothing new to the listener at all, and the fact that these tracks are interspersed equally with the better, traditional tracks make for an uneven listening experience; as soon as you're thoroughly enjoying the feeling of a pub-style session with some great musicians, something else interrupts, and you find yourself skipping ahead looking for something you'll enjoy more. The poorest choice of all is the final track, a cover of the great Isaac Hayes-David Porter R&B anthem "Hold On I'm Comin," which sounds here more like a desperate assurance than a brassy affirmation.

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