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Young Dubliners

Let's start with the Pogues. The Pogues were an awesome mesh of drunken Irish saloon tunes and post punk. They set the standard for modern day Irish music in my eyes. I was hoping to hear this same kind of drunken sing-along Irish music on Red, my first taste of the Young Dubs. They didn't disappoint with the first track, "Bodhran," a high-energy instrumental including all of the standard "Irish" instruments. I was built up only to be let down.

The next song, "Stop Me," and the whole album for that matter, sound like a homogenized version of The Wonder Stuff. This is mainly due to the Young Dubs use of fiddle and organ. Exclude those sounds and you're left with a watered down version of Duran Duran. Now that we've established that the Young Dubs are catering to the adult alternative format, I'm wondering why they do what they do. Sure, they precede the Corrs, but essentially, both bands are doing the same thing. The fourth track, "Neverending," has a nice mellow vibe and some pleasant harmonies, but we've heard it before. Bland pop music with traditional Irish fiddle playing for spice. The Corrs do the same thing, the only major difference is the absence of female vocals and, to their credit, the Young Dubliners are far less annoying.

In most instances, it seems that the Young Dubs, with their heavy use of Irish imagery and blatant display of Celtic knots on the albums cover, seem to have more in common with American country music than with anything else. I keep expecting them to yell "Head 'em up, Move 'em out" after the chorus of "What Do You Want From Me?"

I'd love to say that I liked this album, but it's just not in me to conjure those words. Is this music made to appeal to everyone and sell a few more units? If so, I'd assume that the mission is going to be accomplished. It's overtly unconfrontational, uncompelling and unoriginal. The Young Dubs are fine musicians, but if you have that much talent shouldn't you be doing something unique with it?

-Tyler Jacobson

Track Listing:

  1. Bodhran
  2. Stop Me
  3. Red
  4. Neverending
  5. Is That Me?
  6. What Do You Want From Me
  7. Don't You Worry
  8. Fisherman's Blues
  9. Apart
  10. One and Only
  11. Neverending (instrumental)
  12. Rising / Change The World
  13. Red (instrumental)

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