[18 January 2013]
There is something self-consciously strange about a soft folk-rock album whose title refers to noise, as there is nothing really noisy about the 61-year-old Irishman Declan Sinnott’s debut recording. “Tasteful” would be a more appropriate adjective. Even the song from which the album gets its name (which comes from a John Lennon line about whether he preferred the melody or lyrics) is a relatively sedate affair. That’s not a slam against the record, which is a pleasant enough outing. The dozen songs here have a shambling charm to them. On his self-penned songs (mostly cowritten with Owen O’Brien), the guitarist gets into slow grooves that build to quiet epiphanies and then sort of fade back into the scenery. This makes tunes such as “Everyone Laugh Everyone Cry” and “Me and My Dark Companion” into something magically haunting and poignant. Sinnott’s soft voice and gentle touch endow his original material with a lovely sense of pace. It may be the opposite of noise, but not in the sense of being non-emotional. The music is more like the calm in the eye of the hurricane.