Christy Moore

This Is the Day

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It's tempting to think of This Is the Day as a compromise between Christy Moore's starkly contrasting two previous records. The 2001 effort certainly takes a more traditional approach than its daring U2-esque techno Celt predecessor Traveller (1999), but the arrangements here are still far more expansive than those on the threadbare self-produced album Graffiti Tongue (1996). This record, a three-producer collaboration between Moore, Donal Lunny, and Declan Sinnott, blends soft acoustic folk instrumentation with healthy doses of atmospheric electric guitar. Ultimately, however, This Is the Day has far more in common with early-'90s projects like King Puck and Smoke and Strong Whiskey than with either of Moore's most recent albums. It recalls King Puck especially strongly with its gentle, mellow tone and reflective lyrics. In fact, at least one track here, "So Do I," actually was a discarded outtake from the King Puck sessions. In some respects, the record comes as a bit of a disappointment following three outstanding releases (beginning with 1994's Live at the Point) that really showed the singer at his effusive and dynamic best. And one wishes that Moore had done more songwriting this time out, as the political ballads "Veronica" and "Scallcrows" are the only originals on the album. But This Is the Day is nonetheless a solid piece of work, thoughtfully constructed and performed with plenty of Moore's customary expressive flair.

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