Boyle has time to spare, but little talent
Published 12/12/2011 | 05:00
'Third Adolescence', we're assured, is no comedic exercise.
Whether or not it's a vanity project by ex-TD and senator Dan Boyle is another question entirely.
With Mr Boyle having performed disastrously in the last general election and being chairman of a Green Party with no TDs, he has a lot of downtime to fill.
This 14-track album may be a long way off the work of a startling new talent, but it does have its moments -- little sub-Randy Newman flourishes here, ambitious flights of fancy redolent of Richard Harris there.
There's even a song called 'Vote for Me' which, in its playful, yet sardonic way, sounds like it could have come from the pen of Oliver Callan, of 'Green Tea' fame.
For the most part, Boyle's observations about life, love and the universe are wrapped in tatty, uninspired sonic packages.
His glaring vocal deficiencies are leavened somewhat by astute lyricism, but his is not a voice that captures attention in any pleasing way.
He is at his best when offering a jaundiced view of life -- consider 'Vote for Me' and God's Bad Joke' -- but all too often his songs take on a trite, even mawkish hue: it takes a strong constitution indeed to stomach the lovelorn 'Angela'. "I'm no living legend," he sings, "I'm no Peter Pan." Indeed.
This, it should be noted, is not Mr Boyle's first foray into music. He fronted a band called Blueprint in his native Cork while still a teenager. They made little impression, although Bill Graham -- the late 'Hot Press' writer credited with spotting something special in the embryonic U2 -- thought "Daniel Boyle" was the best thing about them.
A little praise can be a dangerous thing.