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Sweet Blue Gene

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Album Review

Former frontman for the Dream City Film Club, Michael J. Sheehy's solo debut strips down the murkiness and aggression of that band, and strives toward a brittle, more personal experience. Instead of Dream City Film Club's all-or-nothing attack, Sheehy relegates the darker side of his persona into perhaps three of the ten songs here, and it's the other seven songs that are the true revelations. Sheehy packs so much emotion into his mostly delicate vocals that his voice reads like a diary into his soul. In the place of Dream City Film Club's squalid guitars are violins, cellos, and pianos that sweep around and complement Sheehy's confident delivery. With Sheehy himself playing more than half of the instruments, Sweet Blue Gene is quite an accomplishment. The strongest songs are those that expose the most emotion. "Love Me" is a call for a cheating lover to just do what the title says, no matter what they do with their other lovers. "I Can't Comfort You Anymore" is a poetic look at the loss that death brings. "Daddy Is a Good Man" might be Sheehy's saddest song, as a father tells a child that he's a good man and that the child shouldn't "listen to mummy's lies." "The Licensing Song" is as full of hope as a song about despair can be, with Sheehy singing, "the bars close too early in this town." Sweet Blue Gene is a mature, powerful release from an artist not afraid to unleash every last emotion through his voice and songs.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

After the demise of Dream City Film Club in 1999, Michael J. Sheehy quickly emerged as a solo singer/songwriter. While many of his U.K. contemporaries were exploring melodic guitar rock or neo-prog, Sheehy struck out in a different direction; his dark and often darkly humorous, punk-spirited songs drawing on everything from early American rock & roll, blues, gospel, and country to the British hymnal tradition. Michael J. Sheehy was born in 1972 into a working-class Irish Catholic household in Kentish...
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Sweet Blue Gene, Michael J Sheehy
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