STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 132571-19813 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Jon Cooper
Rob Halligan's folky strum-alongs mine the same musical coalface at which Ryan Adams often wields his pickaxe; rootsier than the ceiling in a badger's bedroom, and with as many nods to electronic music as an Amish bluegrass band. If you like your tunes emotive, easily replicable around a campfire and are sceptical of worship lyric clichés, then 'Another Fine Mess' could sit comfortably in your record collection. Opener "Heavenfield" recalls The Levellers, and "Hope" jingles along like The Proclaimers covering Marc Cohn. Throughout, Halligan's voice remains gritty and passionate, his harmonies crisp and Springsteen-esque. "All We Need Is Love" is a mission statement of a duet, featuring a beautiful female vocal that makes the chorus soar. The title track is a powerful ballad, complete with Mark Knopfler-inspired lead breaks and lyrics that update the searching and longing themes of many of the Psalms. "Seen The Light" wouldn't be out of place on the Raising Sand, and closing track "Can Anyone Hear" is a gentle, finger-picked poem written for whoever cares to listen - which should probably be a greater number of people than currently do so. Fans of Neal Casal and Israel Nash Gripka should investigate further.
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