Tuesday 17 January 2017

Music: Couse * * *

Alonewalk (1969 Records)

Published 16/04/2010 | 05:00

For a couple of years either side of 1990, Dublin's A House were unquestionably Ireland's finest band. Frontman Dave Couse went alone after the band's 1997 split, and this is his third solo album in 13 years.

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While his previous solo offerings -- the emotive and biographical Genes and the power-pop heavy The World Should Know -- boasted traces of his old band, this album sounds completely different. Strings, courtesy of Rike Söller's cello, are to the fore, giving the songs a more classical feel, but even more striking is Couse's vocal, with a perfectly pitched falsetto replacing his trademark nasal sneer.

A pair of songs, Black and White and Don't Say a Word, are as good as anything he's written, but the standout song is Good Friday -- which sees him duet with former Microdisney and Fatima Mansions frontman Cathal Coughlan. Remarkably, the pair have never met -- Coughlan simply emailed his vocals to Couse and he and co-producer Phil Hayes seamlessly added it to the original track. It sounds immense.

With just eight tracks, Alonewalk doesn't outlast its welcome and it's a collection to reward the patient listener.

Yet, those hoping for the sort of effervescent pop songs that made his name in the first place will be sorely disappointed.

Burn it: Good Friday; Black and White

Irish Independent

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