Chris de Burgh has had a long and fruitful career, though he is best known for his 1986 world-wide hit "The Lady in Red." While that song is not entirely atypical of his catalog, it doesn't represent the depth and width of his songwriting and vocal talents, either. In fact, de Burgh had already been a recording artist for over a decade before that massive hit and he's continued to release music ever since. His ‘70s recordings were enchanting singer/songwriter affairs with intelligently crafted lyrics dealing with history, religion, and other universal themes. Once the ‘80s (and ‘90s) rolled around, he began having commercial hits, and his lyrics began to touch on simpler themes, mainly love and relationships. With Moonfleet, de Burgh is sure to satisfy fans of both sides of his musical personality. This concept album, mostly based around J. Meade Falkner's 1898 novel, Moonfleet, tells the tale of smuggling, treasure, friendship, love, and loss in the 18th century. With exquisite orchestration, great songwriting, and de Burgh's unmistakable voice, this is his most consistent set of songs in nearly a decade (and that is saying a lot, since he hasn't put out a bad album yet). From glorious and emotional ballads like "Go Where Your Heart Believes" and "My Heart's Surrender" to the rum-guzzling stomp of "Have a Care"/"Treasure and Betrayal" via the Irish jigging of "The Storm," the album is an absolute treasure to behold (pun intended). With a few instrumental and narrative passages, the listener will be swept away by the story and de Burgh's musical interpretation of this tale. The music is somewhat reminiscent of the pop-oriented scores of Disney's blockbuster animated features in the ‘90s and 2000s (Lion King, Tarzan, Hunchback of Notre Dame) although there is a little more depth to de Burgh's musical tale. The "other stories" of the album's title refer to the final six tracks on the album which are musically similar to Moonfleet, but are thematically unrelated. With topics ranging from the Mona Lisa to a 2009 atrocity in Iran, these tracks are further proof that de Burgh has both returned to his roots and expanded his musical vision at the same time. You can't say "they don't make albums like that anymore," because de Burgh just did.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Schnee