The third album by this Irish quintet, Dancehall Sweethearts abandoned the overt Celtic-rock sound that defined their first two albums, Happy to Meet Sorry to Part and The Tain. Subtle folk touches are still present here but to a much lesser degree. Charles O'Connor's fiddle parts aren't as bold or traditionally based as on previous records and keyboardist Jim Lockhart doesn't accentuate Horslips' songs with tin whistle and uilleann pipes with the frequency of past recordings. So while this album succeeds in their effort to create more accessible, radio-friendly music, it wasn't the commercial breakthrough this band had hoped for to compete more directly with similar, successful groups like Jethro Tull and Wishbone Ash. That said, Dancehall Sweethearts is still regarded as one of their finer recordings and the more mainstream approach of this record fully reveals that instrumentally they were every bit as talented as their more famous early seventies rock & roll counterparts.
Dance Hall Sweethearts Review
by Dave Sleger