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Album Review

With Shorelife, Mouth Music continues its move into a sort of undifferentiated worldbeat sound, and the resulting fusion, while still powerful, is not quite as compelling as that of their first two albums. Singers Jackie Joyce and Michaela Rowan both have voices to die for — clear, flutelike sopranos that blend like milk and vanilla and draw you in effortlessly on tracks like "Ruler of the Tides" and the caressingly lovely "Time." The guys in the band play all the instruments, and while they certainly do give up the funk, it's a complex, polyrhythmic, African sort of funk, rather than booty-shaking grooves. Where the lyrics used to be strange and abstract, they are becoming increasingly political and, frankly, hackneyed — the percolating, pulsating grooves are sometimes weighed down by clunky platitudes like "We must nurture, we must labour/For our future we must cater" and "See them standing on the corner/Little boys with so much anger." Still, the good far outweighs the mediocre on this album, and it is recommended highly, along with their earlier work.


Formed: 1990

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Some of the most unusual sounds in contemporary Celtic music were created by Edinburgh-based band, Mouth Music. Combining the mouth music (puirt-a-beul) tradition of Gaelic Scotland with African rhythms, the group fused the two musical cultures into a truly unique sound. According to Entertainment Weekly, "Mouth Music's combination of intelligence, beauty and nerve has the power to unite both world beatniks and mainstream rock fans in mutual exhilaration." The concept that resulted in Mouth Music...
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Shorelife, Mouth Music
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