Voyage was the second record released during Christy Moore's brief association with Atlantic Records in the late '80s. It is an unusual album for Moore in that it consists almost entirely of covers of other songwriters, with only one track ("Middle of the Island") co-written by the singer. But they are attractively arranged covers. Donal Lunny's production sometimes indulges in the synthesizers and electric pianos that plagued much '80s folk, but for the most part they are used in a tasteful blend with acoustic, electric and slide guitar, mandolin, bouzouki and uilleann pipes. There are also some lovely harmonies, provided by Irish music celebrities Sinead O'Connor ("The Mad Lady & Me," "Middle of the Island"), Mary Black ("The Voyage" and Elvis Costello ("Missing You"). Costello is also credited as a songwriter for "The Deportees Club," which receives a beautiful accordion, harmonica and mandolin treatment that lends unexpected bite to sardonic lines like "I prayed to the saints and all the martyrs for the secret life of Frank Sinatra, and all these things have come to pass. In America the law is a piece of ass." Other highlights include a footstomping rendition of the traditional "The Night Visit" and a radio-ready cover of Jimmy McCarthy's "Mystic Lipstick." The only serious misstep is the strangely lighthearted arrangement of Tim Donnehy's "Farewell to Pripchat (Near Chernobyl)," which is inappropriately pretty for a song about nuclear tragedy.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Evan Cater