"Pogues Mahone" [sic]
With "Pogue Mahone," the Pogues have yet again
released a winner. Spider Stacy is mesmerizing with his husky voice, backed
by hollow and stunning sounds from the rest of the band. This, the band's
seventh album, is a refreshing mix of harsh reality and upbeat folk tunes.
| || Publication: Justice (Brandeis
Date Printed: Tuesday, March 5, 1996
By: Miriam Leibowitz
This album is full of evocative and emotive songs that set your mind on
edge and at the same time remind you that things could be worse.
Without accurately being able to characterize the music that the Pogues
so smoothly produce, one can almost say that it is Irish at the core but
seems to mimic Cajun
and Zydeco. Nowhere on "Pogue Mahone" is the Louisianna influence
more prevalent than on the short but pwerful track "Amadie."
The song pays homage to Amagie Adouin, who loost his famous voice when he
was assaulted. The song opens with a contagious Cajun rhythm and a barrage
of French, describing Adouin's expert guitar playing and vocal talent and
the racial conflict to which he ultimately fell prey during his career.
"When the Ship Comes In"
is a remake of a classic Bob
Dylan song. The Pogues give it the flavor of a fast-paced Peter,
Paul and Mary ballad. James McNally on the accordion and whistle give
lyrics a distinctively Celtic
The Pogues put a delicious spin on love songs. Take for instance, "Living
in a World Without Her." The song opens with a tune reminiscent
of a Civil
War mini-series theme and turns into and up-beat description of the
agony that would follow the loss of "her."
With a different attitude, "Love
You 'Till the End" mellows the album and makes you want to hold
onto the one you love. As the song progresses, the simple lyrics and instrumentation
evolve into a complex mix of vocal, guitar, bass, piano, mandolin, djembe,
shaker and a string orchestra.
"Where That Love's Been Gone"
is another love song that speaks of lost lovers and where they might be.
It has a bluegrass/country melody, and, again, Stacy's gruff vocals backed
by Jem Finer.
Although it has undergone several metamorphoses, the band's experience is
apprent and a refreshing change from the usual garble that fills new rock
Copyright 1996, Justice (Brandeis University)
All rights reserved
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