Horslips

The Unfortunate Cup of Tea!

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    4
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AllMusic Review by

If Dancehall Sweethearts was Horslips' attempt to attract a mainstream rock & roll base, this album surely must have frightened listeners off just as quickly as its predecessor acquired them. It's curious that this band, who seemed able to innately create intricate and memorable original melodies coupled with complex arrangements of traditional tunes, was also capable of churning out one nondescript and melody-challenged song after another. The title track offers hope at the midway point of this album as it injects some traditional Irish playing but unfortunately only for a mere 60 seconds. "Turn Your Face to the Wall" might have fit in nicely on other Horslips albums as one of the obligatory crossover pieces (rock with minor folksy adornments) but here it is the strongest track, which is a sad commentary on this record as a whole. "The Snakes' Farewell to the Emerald Isle" is a decent bluesy instrumental piece followed by the Celtic/pop/rock song "Everything Will Be Alright" which concludes this sub par album in relatively positive fashion. In retrospect, The Unfortunate Cup of Tea is a Horslips anomaly as it is sandwiched between three quality albums that both preceded and succeeded it.

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