Shane MacGowan

Crock of Gold

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Where Shane MacGowan sounded reinvigorated on The Snake, his first solo album, he sounds tired on his second solo effort, The Crock of Gold. Again supported by the Popes, MacGowan doesn't depart from his trademark boozy folk-punk. He spends the entire album wearily croaking his stylized myths of modern Irish folks among banjos, tin whistles, acoustic guitars, and accordions. Musically, this is adept and pleasant, but The Crock of Gold starts to fall apart when compared to MacGowan's masterworks with the Pogues. Superficially, the album sounds fine, but his songs simply aren't on the level of Rum Sodomy & the Lash, If I Should Fall from Grace with God, or even The Snake. He sounds like a caricature, not a character, simply spitting out clichés instead of reworking them into something new. Longtime fans will find a couple of gems hidden among the murk, but even they will be forced to admit that The Crock of Gold is, for the most part, a crock.

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