Lucky Bones - Together We Are Alone - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Lucky Bones - Together We Are Alone

by James Bray Rating:7 Release Date:2011-02-17

Lucky Bones is really just Eamonn O'Connor and his travelling band and Together We Are Alone is his first full length album. O'Connor is originally from Dublin, but he has spent years years playing covers around Europe and America. This album was recorded in Bastrop, Texas and the American landscape has had a great deal of influence on the sound of the record.

The songs are all founded on O'Connor's vocal delivery and his guitar playing. He's accompanied by session players, who add pianos, drums and backing vocals, and the production generally makes it a more polished record which is more accessible to a commercial audience. The abiding sound is that of Irish-Americana, invoking the mythos of the southern states. The energetic, narrative style of O'Connor's songs is reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen, but it's definitely Springsteen via Nick Hornby, in spite of the American vernacular. The upbeat tracks have a choppy, rail-road momentum, which would allow them to fit easily into any 'Driving Songs' compilation. The slower numbers are expansive and elegiac, much like the album of tracks of U2 circa 1986, a group who were also obsessed with the old-time spirituality of the US.

Together We Are Alone is quite an affecting MOR record. The album often sounds like it's soundtracking the more poignant moments of a high budget American TV show, about cowboys in the 21st century. The world O'Connor evokes in his lyrics is a senimentalised version of the real world, one seen through the prism of the singer/songwriters of the 60s and 70s. For example, in the indie-country number 'Summer's Night Eruption' O'Connor sings, "So I bought a gun and I shot my lover down"; did you really, Eamonn? Were you in Reno when you did this?

The postmodern fandom, and the long shadow of O'Connor's influences at times compromise his own talent. Derivative songwriting means the artist loses the intuitive side of music compostion and this can be very dangerous for a new act. In saying that, this is album is impressive. There are several stand-out tracks, with 'Heavy Load' and 'Magnificent Mistake' being particularly good. O'Connor will be touring the album with an Irish band, and if that goes well, he's sure to establish an appreciative fan base. However, Together We Are Alone is not exciting or compelling and if people keep churning out derivative Americana, square dancing could become popular again. Let's hope O'Connor doesn't become a square dancing James Blunt, as that would be a great tragedy.

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