Sound — 8
I've always had a soft spot for Celtic, and Reggae-Rock/Ska. This album combines the two in fair portions (though not within the same songs). The band flaunt an impressive brass section, as well as a brilliant string section (The Emerald Express). Saying this, the band fill up the album with a few fairly boring songs (All In All being one of them). I think that however, Jackie Wilson Said, The Celtic Soul Brothers and the classic Come On Eileen really make up for any dead wood that you may come accross. I find that the mix of instruments on here results in quite an ELO sound in places.
Lyrics — 7
In all honesty, I'm not mad on Kevin Rowland's voice, or his lyrics. His vocal style gets annoying after a while (Until I Believe My Soul) and his lyrics feel quite uninspired. Regardless, it works all works well enough with the music - can you imagine Come On Eileen without him? Harmonies litter the tracks here and there and they don't get in the way of anything else that's going, which is good. They're nothing overly complicated, but they're still OK.
Overall Impression — 7
Within this album, I really love the string and brass arrangements more than anything. I think they make the album. Would I recommend this album as a must-listen? Probably not. Anybody could get by just fine without this in thier music collection. If anything, it'd be worth checking out a couple of tracks on We7 or YouTube, just for the arrangement value. I wouldn't go out buying it from your local store until you understand just what you're buying.