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Into Your Heart

Hothouse Flowers

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Reseña de álbum

The Irish band's first American release since 1993's excellent Songs from the Rain is a big improvement over 1998's disappointing Born, an album that nearly derailed the band. But the core trio of Fiachna O'Braondin, Liam Ó Maonlaí, and Peter O'Toole return to their pop-soul roots on Into Your Heart, with impressive results. As its title implies, these songs are typically moody, and the ballad-heavy collection could use more upbeat moments to spark the ambience, but this is still a stirring effort. Jumping off with a few pieces in the epic mode of their past successes, "Your Love Goes On" adds horns and the Dublin Gospel Choir to its inspirational lyrics, creating a thunderous, churchy singalong worthy of the band's best work. Ó Maonlaí is in excellent voice throughout. Confident, brash, yet sensitive, he anchors the music and even slips into a ghostly falsetto on "Better Man" when the emotional juices get flowing. There is a rather sappy '70s West Coast vibe to some of the tunes, which waters down "Alright" and makes it sound like something from an old America or Crosby, Stills & Nash album, a distraction even the prominent bouzouki can't overcome. Lead singer Ó Maonlaí doesn't do himself any favors when he tries to be Jackson Browne on the "These Days"-styled "Magic Bracelets," a tribute to deceased reggae master Joe Higgs, a friend of the bandmembers who recorded with them. Still, the singer's obvious passion pulls the outfit through the disc's weaker moments, which include adding unnecessary — but generally not distracting — drum loops to some tracks. A live acoustic traditional tune, "Sí Do Mhamó Í," is sung in Irish and comes complete with pennywhistle, closing the album in jig-worthy fashion and bringing the band's roots to the fore. Not as impressive as the trio of discs from the late '80s and early '90s that put Hothouse Flowers on the map, this is still a striking return to form that will satisfy old fans, even if it is unlikely to create many new ones.

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A Nice Return to Form

When Hothouse Flowers' released their seminal, breakthrough album, "People" in the late 1980's, critics labeled them as the second coming of U2. Ironically enough, born from U2's own Mother Records and shepherded by Bono and Larry Mullen, the Flowers were indeed something special and altogether different from anything on the "alternative" music scene. Mixing blues, jazz, Irish traditional, rock and pop is no small task, but Hothouse Flowers pulled it off nicely. After "Songs From the Rain" in 1992, it seemed that superstardom was in their grasp. Of course, things never turn out as planned and Hothouse Flowers parted ways with their record company, London Records, and released very little material the years following. Pared down to a four piece, they released a very rock oriented record, "Born" in the late 90's - sounding more like U2 than the sound they had created in their youth... Were they selling out or just trying to get their identity back??? With "Into Your Heart" - Hothouse Flowers return to the sound that made them famous in Ireland and beyond. Opening bars of "Your Love Goes On" recall the best of "Songs From the Rain" - soaring gospel chorus, brass, and Liam singing at the top of his soulful range. This is a statement to those who may have written them off - "We're back". Other songs resonate beautifully with your own soul - "The End of the Road" - the ultimate "let's not break up song"; and, "Feel Like Living" - perfect for those wanting to send special thoughts to a loved one. There are pop staples here too: "Alright" and "Tell Me" are modern enough to become staples on pop radio if only there were radio stations in America bold and daring enough to break their paid playlists to play music. In this regard, the prevous post is reflective and instructionary - "Our Little Secret"... A great title for the next album... Enjoy

"our little secret"

after a show in san francisco, ca, I had a conversation with Liam and Fiachna regarding how unfortunate it is for the masses who are unaware of the music of Hothouse Flowers. That was Fiachna's response. Listen to "Feel like Living" with someone you love.

Beg to differ with "Album Review"

The album review states that this album will satisfy old fans, but is unlikely to attract new ones. I'm here to prove otherwise. I discovered Hothouse Flowers relatively recently, after hearing a song from this album in the movie "Borstal Boy". After searching iTunes for the band, I listened to more of the album, and I am hooked! Standout tracks IMHO include "The End of the Road", "Your Love Goes One", "Better Man", and "Out of Nowhere". Liam must be one of the best vocalists in the world. I really love the moody tone of this album, and look forward to hearing more from the band. ~A new fan

Biografía

Fecha de formación: Dublin, Ireland, 1984

Género: Pop

Años de actividad: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ireland's Hothouse Flowers made a name for itself during the late '80s and early '90s with a passionate, bombastic fusion of rock & roll with the rootsy sounds of Irish folk and American gospel. The group was founded as a Dublin street-performance act called the Incomparable Benzini Brothers by schoolmates Liam O'Maonlai (vocals, keyboards) and Fiachna O'Broainain (guitar), the former of whom had played in My Bloody Valentine forerunner Congress. After winning the Street Entertainers of the Year...
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Into Your Heart, Hothouse Flowers
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