Sound — 7
This is the the album which was released after Mickey Harte's success in the "You're A Star" compitition in 2003. An album which reached No.1 in Ireland pretty much straight away and stayed there for a solid month. Despite all this, the verdict is that this album sounds as though it was made to keep people happy and let them fritter their money away. In other words, to take advantage of the huge support Harte had got at that period and not let Mickey himself take the reigns of a prouction meant to be his. Fair play to him though he managed to get himself across more often then expected. Harte, as artist, is Damian Rice and Josh Ritter with class and more cutting edge. You wouldn't know that from this though. Produced by Jon Kelly in London, the songs sound as smooth as could be. He added an acoustic guitar to the Undertones hit "Teenage Kicks" and it doesn't sound any better or worse. Just different. Perphaps a disapointment in the sense that only six out of the ten songs are his own. Here At The Right Time" is an unreleased Josh Ritter track. "The Island" is of course the Paul Brady classic, then there is the already mentioned "Teenage Kicks" and the Eurovision song "We've Got The World". Although this is the song that catapulted him to stardom, it is a song that the world could have lived without. Mickey got the fantastic Zoe Conway to play Violin on some tracks and uses a wide range of insturments from electric guitar to harmonica to cello. For this reason it could be said that all the tools were there to make this a great sounding record but it didn't formulate.
Lyrics — 9
My overall impression of Harte's own lyrics were nothing fantastic but impressive none the less. He mostly tells his listeners of his anguishes with love through the years. The opening line to "Total Love" is just a tiny bit ironic. "Give Me The Simple Life". He wrote the song prior to winning the compitition so he must look back on that in retrospect and say "Well." As for the songs that aren't his, well I have always thought that the lyrics to Paul Brady's "The Island" was pure poetry. "Up here we sacrifice our children to feed the worn out dreams of yesterday". A fantastic insight into the trouble in Northern Ireland. Mickey delivers it brilliantly in what is without doubt the standout track. Throughout the album all of Mickey's lyrics fit in very well with the genre of music. Harte shows his vocal skills which got where he was today. Definatly the highlight of the record.
Overall Impression — 8
As I said above, Mickey Harte is Damian Rice and Josh Ritter with a lot more talant. If Mickey had got a fair shot at this himself, it might have been one of the great rock/pop albums. I love a lot about it. The range of instruments, the vocal brilliance, the obvious talant of Mickey Harte as a songwriter but mingle in thre are a few things that should never darken the doorstep of music ever again. Most them appear solidly in "We've Got The World". The fake drums, the corny chorus. Dreadful but it was a song forced on Mickey and there would have been pandemoneum if that track was not on it. The standout tracks are "The Island", "I Need You", "Never Want To Let You Down" and "A Chance For You And Me". I was disapointed with The Title Track. Live that song is temendous. It seems a bit empty on the recording. Although nothing special, I would most definetly buy this again as I believe this will be an important piece of the Mickey Harte jigsaw and the tracks I mentioned are worth having. A good album but made to generate money not to let the artist express himself.