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Declan O' Rourke - Since Kyabram

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 28 / 5 / 2006



Declan O' Rourke - Since Kyabram
Label: Select Label
Format: CD

intro

Unique melodic pop/rock on debut album from Australian-raised but now Irish-based singer-songwriter Declan O' Rourke


It comes as no surprise when you hear Declan O’Rourke’s warm vocals and his winning way with a melody that artists such as Paul Weller and Snow Patrol have been singing his praises. If leaving his native Ireland at the age of 14 to live in Australia to return only four years ago has fashioned O’Rourke’s music in any way then maybe a few others should take that trip. For not one of the eleven songs on 'Since Kyabram' could be remotely considered filler of any kind. Each and every song is a shining example of how talented O’Rourke is at writing good, solid pop/rock songs. O’Rourke has something of an unique voice. His vocals are warm, a mixture of many but impossible to pick out just one. He has been compared to everyone from Josh Ritter ( no real surprise there ) to Nat King Cole, the former surely just on the evidence of one song, ‘Galileo’, which it must be said it wouldn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to see the great man singing. But surely the most obvious comparison would be Ron Sexsmith. Not only in the vocals but in the way the songs are constructed and performed. Two of the strongest songs here, ‘Your World’ and ‘No Brakes’, could have come off an early Sexsmith album. That’s no criticism. Sexsmith has lost his way a little recently, and it’s time we had someone else who is making melodic music with thoughtful lyrics and a voice we can all love. For all the beauty in that voice though it would mean little if O’Rourke didn’t have the songs to back it up. The simple fact is he writes songs where the melodies are so attractive it takes no time at all for them to register. The trouble with ‘instant’ melodies is that after a very short time they lose their appeal. This, thankfully, isn’t the case with O’Rourke; this album has been played almost on a daily basis for the last month or so and still those melodies are captivating. they have lost none of their appeal. The opposite has happened, in fact, especially when O’Rourke takes a tougher stance on songs like ‘No Brakes’ where the nagging guitar lines are becoming a necessary part of the day. ‘Sarah’ has been chosen as a forthcoming single. Showing his sensitive side it’s an obvious choice following the success of songs like ‘You’re Beautiful’ but it shows that O’Rourke is made of sterner stuff than the James Blunts of this world. O’Rourke never loses sight of his Irish heritage. The closing song, ‘Marrying The Sea- Til Death Do Us Part’, finds him using his vocals to their best effect. It’s the type of song that could only come from an Irish artist. O’Rourke sings unaccompanied apart from the sea gently lapping in the background for the first four minutes before acoustic guitar comes in and lifts the song up. It’s a stunning end to an outstanding album. O’Rourke is a major talent. Of that there is no doubt and there is more than enough proof running through these eleven songs that he is going to be around for a long time. Despite the Sexsmith comparisons O’Rourke has enough originality to make his mark in the overcrowded male singer/songwriter genre.



Track Listing:-
1 No Place To Hide
2 Birds Of A Feather
3 Galileo (Someone Like You)
4 Your World
5 No Brakes
6 We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea
7 1-Way Minds
8 Love Is The Way
9 Sarah (Last Night In A Dream)
10 Everything Is Different
11 Marrying The Sea (Til Death Do Us Part)



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