Get ready to go a rollicking, whirlwind, 80 miles-per-hour-with- the-top-down-then-park-and- enjoy-the-view escapade with Red, newest release from the Young Dubliners. The group’s second full-length studio album breeds a sensual mix of traditional Irish folk music, hearty American rock and roll country, and universally appealing ballads that could win over the most wary of listeners. Give yourself fully to this album, and you’re sure to come away bettered, enriched, more full.
Lead vocalist Keith Roberts has a buttery voice that melts into the rich, layered musicianship of the rest of the crew. Whether on a sultry driving cadence like “Stop Me,” or a solid, viscous ballad like “Neverending,” his soulful vocal stylings offer a near-perfect flourish. The Young Dubliners have capitalized on a unique, identifiable sound, laden with dependable drumming, accessible guitaring, memorable lyrics, and sensual instrumental flourishes. They’re one of the few bands out there that can aggressively utilize the fiddle and get away with it. That alone is enough, but the 100% lack of pretense turns that declaration into exclamation.
I imagine myself on a long trip while listening to this album. I’ve never been to Ireland, but I see its green hills, cozily nestled villages, landscapes that are bountiful in tradition and pride. This album’s in my stereo, and it’s carrying me through, onto that pub somewhere off the beaten path, where I rest myself, drink good ale, and soak myself quietly in the rapture of the sonic culture they’ve created. Without a doubt, this album reminds you of good times, had or yet to be—and this should be the soundtrack.
Give yourself up to their cunning! The Young Dubliners are the true meaning of bricolage, and synergy. Enjoy the ride, and be reassured that everything is a-okay. And if I could do a jig right now, I sure as hell would.