The Guggenheim Grotto

The Universe Is Laughing

by Thomas Britt

8 July 2010

cover art

The Guggenheim Grotto

The Universe Is Laughing

(United for Opportunity)
US: 15 Jun 2010
UK: Import

Dublin folk duo the Guggenheim Grotto has grown in popularity during the past few years as a result of its songs being attached to American network television shows and featured on a Starbucks sampler. While mainstream exposure has been good for the band’s career, the music itself seems to have undergone a homogenization that removes some of its unique character. On new album The Universe Is Laughing, the voices of Kevin May and Mick Lynch are still in top form, but the lyrics and arrangements seem to be on auto-pilot much of the time. The verses of “Trust Me I’m a Thief” are made up almost entirely of clichés, and the music is distractingly similar to Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”. Much more interesting are “Wings and Feathers” and “Spiegel Song”, which share a Rufus Wainwright quality and are the two most memorable songs on the album. On their next outing, May and Lynch would benefit from combining their solid voices with more adventurous musical textures.

The Universe Is Laughing


We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media


"No Dollars in Duende": On Making Uncompromising, Spirited Music

// Sound Affects

"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layers and textures to music.

READ the article