2015 / Real Music
Review by Michael Debbage
Born in Derry in Northern Ireland, while the Celtic influences are not strong there is this underlying mystical feel of this genre buried in a more mainstream influence that shows shadows of Jim Brickman and the ever so light numinous tones of David Arkenstone here and there. After an interesting debut, Karran’s sophomore effort is showing a stronger musical voice that makes Forgotten Road unforgettable.
Karran’s debut Distant Sun was enjoyable but shy of “Derry Waltz” and “Distant Sun” it did not have the staying power to really grab your complete attention. These two particular tracks featured Fin Drumm on uilleann pipes and while the visit is not repeated here the Celtic presence is still alive and present. The most obvious presence can be found on the mystical and progressive track “An Grainan” that also features sampled wordless vocal tracks and a driving steady percussive and flute arrangement that brings to mind a subdued David Arkenstone composition. Uillean pipe samples can also be heard on the melancholy “As The Foley Gently Flows”.
While the Forgotten Road features more sophisticated compositions than the Distant Sun it is not at the expense of foregoing the melodic tendencies found on his debut. These tendencies are immediately heard on the opening track “Fairy Dance” that reflects a bolder and more confident performance. Less obvious finds are “Angel Of Tullagh Strand” that includes a long more ambient opening that slowly builds into a very spacious and roomy recording. In complete contrast is the bolder anthem of “Crest Of Life” that focuses on its melody and pulls you in like a fish, hook line and sinker.
Although the debut album Distant Sun was a most enjoyable recording it did not yet embody a true musical voice. Needless to say Forgotten Road shows an artistic growth in pianist Eamonn Karran. While Forgotten Road continues to sustain a mellow attitude it also reflects an artist that has grown somewhat bolder in his musical voice. As a result Forgotten Road is more unforgettable.
June 29, 2015