Gary Dunne Twenty Twenty Fiction (full album)
I got a copy of Gary Dunne's "Twenty Twenty Fiction" in the post this week. Had always been a fan of the track 'Madness' from a few years back and had just put the link for Gary's new track 'Jennifer' on the site (see the Video section to view it).

Playes the album a few times over the last few days. Have to say that it's beginning to grow on me. The slower stuff I am not so keen on but the mid-paced and quicker stuff (like Jennifer and Madness plus a few others) puts me in mind of the Beautiful South, not in the way the songs sound but in the way that material that is essentially not that interesting in and of itself (no offence, Gary) because we've all been there, done that, is made into classic little pop-tracks of the singer-songwriter-with-a-band variety. Gary also has the same Beautiful South knack of making a song that should be depressing into a happy little number.

When I first heard 'madness', I made it one of my favourite songs of the year, not just Irish songs either. It still is a great song. Get the album just for the re-worked version of that track and you won;t be disappointed with the other material.

My only problem with Twenty Twenty Fiction is that it doesn't really grab hold of the listener (except perhaps if they are musicians themselves, maybe) and keep you in there until it's over. That's a bit harsh, I know, as most albums don't hold the listener throughout. However, there is little else 'wrong' with the album that something had to be picked out!

The more upbeat (in terms of tempo if not lyrical content) of the tracks are brilliant - Madness, Jennifer, Small Town, My Getaway etc but the slower ones kind-of let the listener off the hook for a few minutes. Maybe it's just the track order.

Maybe it's just me looking for something to criticise? I don't know. If so, then there isn't much, is there?

The final track, 'Emily', is not the best by a long shot but is an illustration of the art of the songwriter going back through the years to the balladeer. Listen to it and you'll see what I mean. It was recorded solo in a room in Kerry and you can, as Gary states in the sleeve notes, almost "hear the room".

Finally, on the subject of sleeve notes etc, it's nice to see Artists not scrimping on the actual paper bit in the CD jewel case. In this day and age, when tracks can be sent accross the Internet to each other, it is the information in the sleeve and other non-digital bits that make a CD worth shelling out for. This sleeve is a beautiful presentation, and so simple I have to wonder if it was just thrown together. If it was, however, it would show. One quibble: who are all those people in the centre pages...
Review written by: Ron, --

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