Luka Bloom » Album Reviews - English & German
Luka Bloom - Eleven Songs
Eleven Songs The Basement Discs, Melbourne
The Irish Times
Belfast Telegraph
Hot Press
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The Basement Discs, Melbourne - CD Reviews - October 2008

Basement Discs recommend...
LUKA BLOOM - 'Eleven Songs'

With engineer (& ex FRAMES guitarist) DAVID ODLUM, Luka's aim with this album was to make a more traditional style record: that seemingly simple but increasingly expensive (compared to the "laptop in the bedroom/home studio scenario") formula of good/hopefully great songs; a great room to record in; great musicians and singers on board; old microphones... the intention and ambition to capture an honest performance.

In Luka's own words... "I don't mind admitting that the template was the sound on the ALISON KRAUSS/ROBERT PLANT record 'Raising Sand'." And I think we'd all agree that's a very fine example to be aspiring to! Luka is and should be justifiably proud of 'ELEVEN SONGS'. Whilst he probably didn't have access to the kind of studio's Alison & Robert used... his heart and talent is most certainly in the right place!

The Irish Times - The Ticket - CD Reviews Rock/Pop - Friday, October 10, 2008

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LUKA BLOOM - Eleven Songs

Big Sky Records

Luka Bloom's on his 12th album, and he's sizzling like a neophyte who's just discovered the magic in a newly minted song. Languid and unhurried, Eleven Songs continues on 2004's meditative Before Sleep Comes. Sure, there are traces of Bloom's trademark percussive guitar style and his political instinct on Fire, but the rest is a highly personal journey: fingering stillness and, most of all, what it means to live comfortably in one's own skin.

Acoustically, Bloom has created a space that serves his meditations well. With Trevor Hutchinson's bass, Liam Ó Maonlaoí's piano and Joe Csibi's string arrangements, this is a collection that doesn't so much assault the senses as infiltrate them, lingering long after the final note has sounded. A quietly triumphant return to his roots.


Belfast Telegraph - Music & Gigs - Reviews - Friday, 17 October 2008

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LUKA BLOOM - Eleven Songs

(Big Sky Records)

In a long career that has produced 12 albums, Luka Bloom has rarely put a musical foot wrong.

The 53-year-old younger brother of legend Christy Moore is an accomplished Irish folk singer-songwriter in his own right and is known for inspiring lyrics and gorgeous melodies. New album Eleven Songs is more of the same gentle material that ebbs and flows wonderfully from track to track.

Best are Sunday and Eastbound Train.


Hot Press - Album Reviews - 24 October 2008

(Big Sky Records)

Stalwart Troubadour makes exultant Dave Odlum-produced 12th Album

He remains a tireless live performer and a huge draw, especially across Europe, but for aeons Luka Bloom has somehow seemed under-appreciated around these parts. Perhaps it's down to over-familiarity or the fact that his no-nonsense get-on-with-it work ethic in some senses plays down his importance. Either way, it is time for a reappraisal.

Bloom is nothing if not consistent. This is his 12th solo album in a career that stretches back over 30 years and he hasn't made a duff record yet. The good news is that 11 Songs moves things forward very effectively. Recorded in Grouse Lodge with Frames and Josh Ritter man Dave Odlum at the controls, it is warm and sepia-toned, with deep, acoustic bass from Trevor Hutchison, piano courtesy of Liam O'Maonlai and Bloom's trademark acoustic guitar strum. The predominant theme is a spiritual one, encompassing love and loss: the crunch track is the wonderfully optimistic 'Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You'. Reminiscent of Astral Weeks-era, Van Morrison meets U2's 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For', it boasts soaring strings and the massed voices of Gardiner Street Gospel Choir - a superb synthesis. 'There Is A Time', a languid rumination on loneliness, is another highlight, while he also takes time out to give a lash to the Facebook/MySpace generation on 'Fire', on which he bemoans the fact that the everyone is "coming down with gadgetry" and spending their time "on-line, where nothing is real".

A more exotic, world-music style rhythmic backdrop frames the positive vibes of 'I Love The World I'm In', a song which was inspired by one of his many journeys to Australia, while the least adorned and most overtly spiritual song, 'Sunday' sums up the Bloom philosophy. All told Eleven Songs is an album that reveals a superb craftsman working at the top of his game. Savour it.


Kilkenny Advertiser - 30 October 2008

Luka sings it like it is in Eleven Songs

We must have been very good this year indeed as Luka Bloom has released yet another album, Eleven Songs, just about a year after his most recent offering Tribe.

Eleven Songs does not disappoint and Lukaís powerful guitar and vocals once again draw you in and keep you foot-tapping for the entire length of the album which appropriately has eleven songs!

From an up-beat 'I'm on your side' right through to the slow and melodic 'I Hear Her like Lorelei', Lukaís haunting tunes each tell a different story with every song. His lyrics as ever are simple and the sound is sweet.

Liam O' Maonlai has obliged and played accompanying piano on several tracks including 'I love the world I'm in' and 'Don't be afraid of the light that shines within you'. He has also lended his dulcet vocals to 'Everyman' in which he sings backing vocals with Aoife Tunney.

Luka is currently on a nationwide tour and is playing Vicar Street this Saturday evening. Catch him if you can, however, it may be nicer to hold out for if he comes to Cleeres in Kilkenny which is where you catch Luka at his absolute best in a small an intimate setting. Luka Bloom isn't shy and he has always stayed for a pint and chatted to fans after the show which is a great treat for those who want to know more about his songs and lyrics. However, there has been no Kilkenny date annouced as of yet. We wait - we wait patiently! In the meantime, get your hands on a copy of Eleven Songs and familiarise yourself with the newest offering.


dB Magazine - 26 Nov - 9 Dec 2008

Luka Bloom - Eleven Songs

After a few years of more experimental records and collaborations, Luka Bloom has returned to a more traditional record with 'Eleven Songs'. Recorded mostly live in only eight days, it's a warm, gracious record of Bloom's always wonderful songs, produced by David Odlum (the original guitarist of Irish alt-rockers The Frames).

From the moment that There Is A Time emerges quietly from the speakers, you know that Bloom is back to what he does best - gently caressed piano, tasteful nylon strings and laid back drumming as his warm voice floats nicely over the top. It sets a standard for the album which is maintained throughout, both in tone and in palette.

Bloom's writing is much the same too - extremely literate love songs such as I Hear Her, Like Lorelei and When Your Love Comes - though with Eleven Songs he's starting to exhibit signs of either old age grumpiness or relevant social satire when he sings a lyric like "everybody's online/ where nothing is real, big fucking deal/ where's the fire now?" on Fire. However, his writing is so consistently strong that you can easily forgive his seeming lack of progression and simply bask in the fact that what he does, he does very well.

The palette here perfectly compliments the songs, with Bloom's nylon string guitar ably backed with string arrangements and a gentle rhythm section. The appearance of a gospel choir on three tracks, most notably the closing anthem Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You, adds much to proceedings, while guests occasionally pop in to add harps or clarinets. 'Eleven Songs' holds few surprises for Bloom fans, but there is such a genuine joy and confidence in these songs that they won't care.


Canberra City News - CD REVIEWS - 17 December, 2008

"Eleven Songs" Ė Luka Bloom

Irish singer-songwriter Luka Bloom has produced a moving new CD with foot-tapping ditties as well as beautiful, heart-wrenching ballads. Highlights include "I Love the World Iím In", "Fire" and the "Donít be Afraid of the Light that Shines Within You". It's stirring new music for his hardcore fans and will be a revelation to anyone discovering his music for the first time.


Left of the Dial - Online Music Magazine - January 27, 2009

Luka Bloom - Eleven Songs
Bar None Records

One can't easily encapsulate Bloom's 30-year journey through music, from his 1970's European outings to 1980's Georgetown and Greenwich Village bookings to slim major label success in the 1990s to shifting geography (back to Ireland) and current independent label crisscrossing. Let's just say the guy has been there, done it, producing rather low key folk rock with indie rock leanings that would sit well with people that press their ears against John Wesley Harding, American Music Club, and Loudon Wainwright. The spare and solitaire "There Is A Time" dissects the notion of fighting from scurrying for survival ("we must fight for our lives") to inner battles that we wage, with no one but ourselves to contend and contest. In the end, he assures us, "love is the only way". Following up, "I'm On Your Side" is lighter fare, a narrative infused with a shimmering life-force as well, almost D.H. Lawrence-like, in which he examines stultifying streets that crowd people. Yet, he can see beyond the muddle and know that such prisoners of "glass and stone" are really "warriors poets ancient and wise" people, to whom he allies himself. He is the watcher, the voice in defense of imagination, the bullhorn for stretching out and grabbing back our freedom. Did I mention it's a toe-tapper as well? "I Hear Her, Like Lorelei" returns to a subdued, even meditative stab at the tale of Lorelei the folkloric betrayed woman that jumped to her death into deep water. Like a slow eddying tide, the song returns to the refrain "I hear her I hear her", which haunts the song just as the tale of the long dark haired maiden haunted sailors. While that may seem a bit dour and saddening, the world-beat "I Love The World I'm In" spins a far more positive vibe. Bloom darts from a sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing the truth of seasons (children will grow up and be strong, just as the seasons replenish) to describing moon-draped nights when breezes cool us down and cicadas buzz in trees as people perform yoga by the shore. In all, it reminds me of Allen Ginsberg's line, "This world's perfect, not the next."

Meanwhile, "Sunday" is bound by a sense of the sacred, a place where little prayers and blackbird calls merge into consolation and faith, ending in the strum of the guitar. "Fire" bemoans the age of gadgetry that distances us from each other's stories, like the young men with the angry music pummeling their ears. He imagines these men as boxed in, incubated, cut-off. Instead of communities living with the men's actual voices including screams, misery, and mayhem we just live with their solitary stances their lives hidden behind a wall of headphones. He decries this reality, a time when the fire in our blood dissipates somewhere on-line, "where nothing is real". This is a call to draw us back to a bright new flame. "See You Soon" aches, in mellow tones, for the one he loves (but has to let go). So, the question becomes, does the narrator have strength enough to let go, to release lovers back into the world, hopefully with the "riches from the times we knew"? The song maps out closure and tries to work its way through weakness and woe, to a stronger place of trust and knowledge, even satisfaction. The shuffling "Eastbound Train" taps into all the steel wheel lore of the past, from "Mystery Train" to "Downtown Train", though the direction has shifted from 'go westward young man' (towards open spaces and imagined freedoms) to the East. Packed with hope and dreams, the landscapes whir by, life is imbued with "blues and pains", but the motion itself seems to lure Bloom into a state of contentment, almost as if "this is me moving, this is the sound of chance and change, this is the sound of me seizing another mile and moment". To end, he reminds listeners "Don't Be Afraid of the Light That Shines Within You". Bloom consistently returns to the image/trope of the "flame", born throughout the album's narratives. The "dawn of springtime" is upon us, and we can dip our hands deep into the well, plumbing the depths to spray our faces, nourish our hearts, and find a light to push back the "dark winter space". The song ameliorates winter conundrums gray, even dismal features of both land and mind and lets listeners work towards rejuvenation, repair, and resplendence. Even if we don't have faith in ourselves, Bloom seems to. He reserves for himself this place in the world, to be a person that assuages and anoints us with little worthwhile tasks, helping us seize the day from under our feet and believe in the passion that can let us loose into a new world of our own making. - Album Reviews - 4 February 2009

Eleven Songs - Luka Bloom Album Review

Was Kevin Barry Luka Bloom.
Younger brother of legendary Irish singer-songwriter Christy Moore, Luka, taken from Suzanne Vega's song of the same name, was adopted to avoid pressures of being related to his older bro. Bloom derives from compatriot James Joyce's Ulysses.

His style is commonly known as electro-acoustic, with a finger-picking style adopted early on in his career, but tendonitis forced him to be strummer instead. He plays in the DADGAD tuning style through a bass amplifier, giving it a warm and haunting timbre.

There's a huge roll-call of musicians on duty: 17, plus members of the Gardiner Street Gospel Choir.

This rich and warm album is very engaging. Not only that, there's a sincerity seldom heard in songwriting these days.

This has primarily been achieved by going for a more traditional 'live' sound, a return to an earlier raw template, aided by (ex-The Frames - ex-Kila/Josh Ritter) guitar wizard David Odlum engineering things. The album takes 'artistic' cues from the simplicity of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand album, not that there are any direct musical comparisons.

Lyrically, Bloom is bursting with inspiration, and there are plenty of melodies to keep us all enthralled at his mastery songcraft. Over 30 years he's remained consistently very good, so there's no change in terms of quality songs which have kept him busy and appreciated in both America and Europe.

Helping him on his way this time comes the second single Don't Be Afraid...., an acoustic flourish, drenched in strings and sparkling piano sojourns with more than a dash of Celtic roots prevailing, boosted by sumptuous choral work by GSGC.

It is however, the stunning There Is A Time that rubber stamps his intentions, while Luka wistfully rolls his Irish lilt. The uplifting and reassuring I'm On Your Side swings gleefully with a belting hook, though there's a lot of instrumental subtlety going on, with intermittent pedal ghosting in the background.

This is segued by the tenderest offering on the CD, the drifting ballad I Hear Her, Like Lorelei. Bloom almost hushes his way through which serves to bring empathy to the piece. Then, what should be a UK single release unfolds - I Love The World I'm In. Drums boom, the acoustic floats and strings and piano loop into action.

At his most passionate, Fire thrusts to frenetic strumming, while See You Soon makes a suitable accompaniment to I Love The World I'm In in tone and flavour, with those magical strings leaning in part towards Damien Rice. For purity of song and effect, Everyman reveals itself as the jewel in the crown - this ballad is a truly magical song.

The verdict: Yummy.

Radio - Hear tracks soon on THE PLUG at


Sonic Boomers - Bentley's Bandstand Album Reviews - 13 February 2009

Luka Bloom
Eleven Songs

Bar/None Records

When it comes to love, the Irish have it covered. They spend their time in this world with broken hearts, torn asunder by famine and war and the absolute knowledge that life will end with a finality no one can ever really be ready for, no matter how many years are spent in the confessional or at Mass. That said, love always arrives for the Irish because they sing with full voice, their souls alive in the grace that finally arrives from knowing we are here for a higher purpose, and finding that purpose is how we solve this odd little puzzle called life. The Emerald Islers are used to hard work and tough knocks, and too smart to ask for favors. They push forward and learn to dig deep to discover the warmth buried within. It's why Irish music is capable of causing king tears among even the strongest of listeners, and defines a country's greatness with a soaring spirit.

Luka Bloom knows all about this. He's been making devastating albums of love and pain for a long, long time, lately with little recognition in the United States - not that that matters. Eleven Songs should change that, if there were any justice in the music world, which isn't very likely right now. But, again, that's the luck of the Irish, as they say, and Bloom isn't one to bother about such inanities as commercial success. His voice portrays someone who has found some big secrets somewhere near the bottom of the well, and the way he brings them to the surface is a true gift. Love isn't perfect, and would be boring if it were. But in the hands of Luka Bloom, love becomes real, an inspiring feeling that takes us to a place to call home. The closing song, "Don't Be Afraid of the Light That Shines Within You", just might be the best Valentine's Day wish you receive this year.

Blogcritics Magazine - March 04, 2009

Music Review: Luka Bloom - Eleven Songs

A long-standing folk-rocker with a knack for alluring melodies and straight-faced romantic lyricism, Irish singer/songwriter Luka Bloom has had a long career as a musician - both under his current stage name and his birth name Barry Moore - that goes all the way back to the late seventies.

Despite this durable career, the man isn't much known in the U.S., which isn't surprising considering how much scant regard basic songwriting receives these days. But for those lovers of hard-strummed "electro-acoustic" music and honest singing, who perhaps came to Bloom with his early nineties releases and lost track of him after he began following more ambient turns, the new Eleven Songs (Bar/None Records) will be viewed as a happy return to folk-rock form.

Shifting from infectious country-folk shakers like "I'm on Your Side" and "Eastbound Train" through Latin-tinged celebrations of the beauty of the world ("I Love the World I'm In") and gospel admonitions to free your mind, the soothing voiced Bloom deftly conveys a mood of warmth tinged with melancholy, without readily succumbing to the boy/man posturing of so many male singers.

This is experienced music sung by a guy who isn't here to impress you with all the roads he's traveled, but mainly wants to tell you about the things he's seen. "There is a time we must sit with ourselves," he explains over a deftly played Spanish guitar in the album's opener. "Let the breeze in, let the winds blow."

The album has only one serious misstep: the hectoring "Fire", which uses an admittedly addictive chorus to rant against 21st century techno alienation. Sorry, Luka, but I'm writing this review for the Internet. Besides, Billy Joel ruined the use of fire imagery in the service of protest songs twenty years ago.

The rest of Eleven Songs is hooky and welcoming: great music for those times you wake up in the middle of the night feeling that unexplained sense of dread - and want to listen to something that won't wake your significant other back in the bedroom. Listening to "I Hear Her, Like Lorelei", I couldn't help thinking of John Cale in one of his more subdued moments.

But disc finale "Don't Be Afraid of the Light that Shines Within You" is the one you'll keep running through your head after you crawl back into bed. An achingly beautiful inspirational track, it implores its listeners to "warm our hearts and faces in the heat of the burning flame" (okay, I'll accept that fire image) over backup by Dublin's Gardiner Street Gospel Choir. In these grim times, we need all the buck-up music we can get...


CityBeat - University of Cincinnati - Wednesday, March 25,2009

Luka Bloom, Cursive, Oh No Not Stereo and Chris Cornell

...The march through March continues. As I suspected might eventually happen, this week was so rife with new releases I was forced to push a couple titles to next week to avoid being slammed this week. All things considered, not a bad problem to have. Without any further ado, then...

If youíve been listening to acoustic music for the last 30 years or so and have somehow managed to escape the charms of Luka Bloom, there is a serious gap in your collection. As Irish as the Blarney Stone, Bloom doesnít play what could be strictly classified as Celtic music, although it certainly contains elements of the style. Bloom has always been more interested in the infinite variety that is possible at the crossroads of two or more genres; Celtic, Folk, Country, Pop, Gospel and anything else that presents itself. The end result has always come out uniquely identifiable as Bloom because of his percussive acoustic guitar style and his intensely personal songwriting.

For Bloomís eleventh album, Eleven Songs, the singer/songwriter wanted to return to the spontaneous live feel of his earliest recordings. Inspired by the visceral immediacy of Allison Krauss and Robert Plantís Raising Sand, Bloom and former Frames guitarist David Odlum decided to record the album with that same one-room, analog feel. It turned out to be the right decision, as Eleven Songs shimmers with the kind of urgency and energy that has marked some of Bloomís greatest works, particularly 1991ís The Acoustic Motorbike.

And yet Eleven Songs is a much bigger album than Bloomís earlier output, with a full band, choirs and big arrangements. As always, Bloom shines when documenting the vagaries and triumphs of love, represented here by the Country-tinged "Iím On Your Side", the Jazz-shaded "When Your Love Comes" and the bittersweet Irish Folk farewell of "See You Soon". Bloom revisits his rhythmically stunning guitar style on "Fire", a song about the isolation inflicted on humanity by technology ("Living in your headphones, can you hear your dreams?/Give me some new ideas, let me hear your screams"), but all of Bloomís gifts come together in the albumís anthemic and inspirational closer, "Donít Be Afraid of the Light That Shines Within You" reminiscent of Van Morrisonís emotionally uplifting contemporary hymns. If you havenít yet experienced the wonder and beauty of Luka Bloom, thereís no wrong place to start and Eleven Songs is as good as anything heís ever done, because theyíve all been his best.


Hybrid Magazine - Wednesday, March 25,2009

Luka Bloom
Eleven Songs

Bar/None Records

This record has been a long, long time coming. I can't recall anytime in his history that Luka Bloom has released a record that felt like a "band" record. Whether there have been drums and bass and other instruments on his previous records, they've always felt like a solo record with backing musicians, if that makes any sense. Eleven Songs has a more "band"-like feelingÖ an almost collaborative spirit that adds an entirely new dimension to the music of Luka Bloom.

The songs remain unmistakably BloomÖ from the opening strums of the near-rocking "There Is A Time" to the closing chords of "Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You". And while there are tracks that approach rock, with drums and bass in full force, the inimitable character that is Luka Bloom is never hidden. The drums tend to take a nice rolling beat, with a light swing, perfectly complementing the smooth guitars and occasional piano. "There Is A Time" is a beautiful tune, with lounging piano, the aforementioned drums, and Luka's unmistakable vocalsÖ but with the extra instruments it allows the man to stretch and play some very nice single note lines on his guitar, revealing what some of us have known for ages; the man is a virtuoso. Things really get rolling as the drums shuffle out an Americana beat on "I'm On Your Side" as electric guitar slides stealthily around the background, thickening the sound and adding the perfect amount of tensionÖ this track almost sounds like a Bob Dylan track, which I believe is the first time I've ever been able to say that about Luka's songs. The softer side of Bloom's sound is still extant, as evidenced on the visceral and earthy "I Hear Her, Like Lorelei". It's a softly strummed number backed with supple strings and piano backing the perfect melodies that only Luka seems to be able to write.

There are two songs on Eleven Songs that were first heard recorded on last year's The Man Is Alive DVD/CD set. The first is the amazing "See You Soon". This is quite possibly the greatest song that Luka Bloom has ever penned, and most definitely one of the most intimately powerful. In this fully recorded version it maintains the same simple power that his solo acoustic performance contained, but the sound is fleshed out lightly, creating a more powerful vehicle for the strength of the lyrics. "I hope I love you enough to let you go/And loosen the hold you have on me" is understatedly sung as Luka's amazing guitar playing is wonderfully offset with hobbling drums and soft electric guitars. The second is album closer "Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You" that Luka has been performing for a couple of years. With a fully arranged band the song is even more anthemic and dynamic; a song to truly enliven the human spirit, which is something that Luka has always been very good at doing.

There is a treasure trove of other great songs on the record, and not a single one is a sleeper. There are edgier songs and softer songs and songs that truly make one wonder how a man who has seen as much as Luka Bloom has seen in his life can hold such a great, lively spirit within his body. The man is alive, and his music continues to get better and better. Check out Eleven Songs and rejoice in the living with Luka Bloom.


Racket Magazine - CD Review - June 2nd, 2009

Luka Bloom - Eleven Songs
Big Sky Records

Irish singer/songwriter Luka Bloom personifies much more than just the generic title of his album, 'Eleven Songs'. In fact, Bloomís music has uplifting lyrics and a soothing voice that can garner new and old fans alike.

Fellow Irishmen music producer David Odlum collaborates with Bloom in this project and their sensibilities in the studio compliment each other. For instance, the string section in 'I Hear Her, like Lorelei', has a special kick and this incorporation provides texture similar to what a special ingredient would do to a main course meal. Also, it does not hurt that Bloomís voice is just as rich and sincere as the instruments that accompany him. For instance, 'Sunday' demonstrates a certain softness and excellent vocal control that highlights his range as a singer.

The cultural influences are subtle in such songs like, 'Iím on Your Side', with its country-twang and 'I Love the World Iím In' mixes in a Latin flavor with its percussion beat. An obvious difference between these two tracks is the appearance of his lilting Irish accent in 'I Love the World Iím In'. Count on Bloom to acknowledge his European roots and embrace authenticity as a performer.

Along with staying true to himself in front of a microphone, Bloom unapologetically makes bold political statements in the emotionally-charged song, 'Fire'. He talks about the war and state of society today. Progressive and socially-conscious music still lives on and Bloom is part of this movement.

The stand-out track, 'When Your Love Comes', holds its ground from start to finish. Clocking in at over six minutes, he manages to keep it simple, but have a striking melody that includes a choir for a dramatic finish. Quite frankly, the Irishmen is the consummate storyteller who plays attention to the smallest detail. For instance, his voice projects with the storyís ambiance. All in all, the arrangement is so raw and effortless.

The work that is put into 'Donít Be Afraid of the Light that Shines on You', is remarkable because the song reaches out to the inspirational/Christian rock audience because of its positive message. It is a pleasant way to end a project because the song is not limited to just the violins playing and the choir singing in the background- it embodies hope and the right amount of motivation that can encourage so many people.

Some might call it soft rock, but really it is aged wisdom from a veteran artist who delivers sincere and relevant music that pulls no strings- except for maybe the ones attached to the hearts of its listeners.

GAIL NAVARRO - The Free Lance-Star - 12 June 2009

Luka Bloom weaves his eleventh album of folk

For more than 30 years, Irish folk singer Luka Bloom has been impressing listeners with his distinctive vocals and guitar.

Bloom received early critical acclaim for his albums 'Riverside' (1990) and 'The Acoustic Motorbike' (1991). He has continued this trend up through his recently released 11th solo album, cleverly titled 'Eleven Songs'.

The album begins with 'There Is a Time', which suggests that there is a time for everything. It opens with a brief piano solo by Paul Smith and goes into steady vocals by Bloom with piano, percussion and strings backing him up.

All the songs on the album feature Bloom on his electro-acoustic guitar and background percussion, but many are also brought to life through the accompaniment of violins and violas, such as those in 'I Hear Her, Like Lorelei', which tells the story of a man reminiscing about a lost love.

Although songs such as 'I Hear Her, Like Lorelei' and 'Fire', which is about the loss of ideas in a world where technology diverts attention, are mournful in tone, the album is optimistic and hopeful overall.

This is shown in songs such as 'I Love the World I'm In', which features an impressive, upbeat percussion/guitar duet.

The final song on the album is 'Don't Be Afraid of the Light That Shines Within You'. Bloom is accompanied by a gospel choir, which adds to the already incredibly optimistic song.

The lyrics are about a festival in Bloom's hometown in which the beginning of spring is celebrated, and they also express Bloom's own hopes for the future.

Bloom keeps 'Eleven Songs' upbeat and interesting throughout with primarily acoustic instrumentation, steady rhythms and storytelling on each track.


The Red Alert - Album Reviews - June 2009

Luka Bloom - Eleven Songs

Luka Bloom seems comfortable and confident in the type of music he wants to make. Nothing too loud or overbearing, nothing too glossy or over produced. Just simple ballads centered around vocals and guitar. 'There is a Time' opens the album, which could just as easily be an anti-war song as a love ballad. These kind of dualistic lyrics are not easy to come by or create.

'Iím on Your Side', picks up the mood slightly with a bright and cheery underpinning, but this is quickly undone by the melancholy sounds of 'I Hear Her Like Lorelei'. These kind of ebbs and peaks are the staple of Luka Bloomís Eleven Songs, keeping the listener on their toes, for although the style of music stays more else less constant throughout the album, the mood varies like the temperature moves with the seasons. Just a few degrees of change can have a massive effect on the outcome.

'I Love the World Iím In', offers one of the more interesting percussion tracks, getting into a steady groove that allows the instruments to meddle around with a bit more free form interplay than on previous or subsequent tracks. All of the scattered instruments align for 'Sunday' which falls back into familiar territory, but emerges as perhaps on of the more enchanting tunes on the album.

'Fire' gives Luka Bloom a chance to rock out as much as his acoustic guitar will let him, with a simple rhythm and redundant lyrics. The song does manage to be one of the hotter tracks and so is appropriately named, as it sounds the most radio friendly, despite itís one time use of another four letter f-word. 'When Your Love Comes', offers the calmness to put out the previous fire, with chilling piano that haunts the track.

The remaining tracks pulse with the same calmness and confident vocals as their predecessors. Not one to take many risks, Luka Bloom has delivered a consistent album that offers a solid musical experience. It wonít take you to places yet undiscovered, but it will allow you to enjoy what has been set before you. Why would you expect anything but an album that is straight and to the point from a man who named his record after the number of tracks it holds?


© Rena Bergholz - Luka Bloom Page