Conor O' Tuama Time 'til I Die
The haunting lyrics and husky deadpan vocals of Conor O’ Tuama have a very Irish feel to them, reminding the listener of old songs long since forgotten. Rather than making it feel antiquated, the traditional influence gives it a more contemporary sound. The edgy lyrics stick in your mind, making for uncomfortable thinking. The title track, Time ‘til I Die examines the social differences that separate people whilst stating clearly that we are all the same; “I wanna see the landlord’s fine clothes I wanna see the dirt stains upon his clothes?.

Upon first hearing the track I thought it would serve better as the final song rather than the first. It seems I was right; the album finishes with Time ‘til I Die sung in Irish. The low key acoustic guitar and the violin give the song a lasting power. O’ Tuama’s voice sounds gruffer, twisting the syllables of the song making them seem alien and somehow giving it more impact. The keyboard coming in at a higher key near the end adds to the haunting melody. The clever repetition of the title track acts like a glue, making the album a coherent single piece rather than twelve separate tracks.
1. Time ‘til I Die
2. My Soul Sins
3. The Silent Touch
4. Who Sent You Away
5. Set The Time
6. Run
7. Just Beginning
8. Keep me Alive
9. The Right Time
10. Second To None
11. Ice On The Wasteland
12. Chomh Fada Lem’ Bheo (Time ‘til I Die in Irish)
While the other songs are well written they don’t have the same impact as Time ‘til I Die. The sixth track, Run is more playful than the rest of the album. However, despite its more upbeat lyrics and backing vocals it still retains an almost melancholy feeling to it. Even the last verse can’t dispel the pervading feeling of despair; “Your tin-can-man’s here now the mad hatter, with the dancing eyes?. The last line; “…in disguise, we’ll be free? makes a mockery of the rest of the song, O’ Tuama again bringing uncomfortable topics into his lyric. Only in disguise can they be free, if this is true, then society has a lot to answer for.

This socio-political album is a comment on the society we live in; as such it achieves its goal, making the listener think about the issues O’ Tuama raises. However, this inevitably has side effects, the album taken as a whole can leave one feeling mildly depressed. This is ‘emo’ (genre of emotional music) at it best, slowed down without the clanging guitars and whining vocal, Time ‘til I Die falls into the same genre as DeathCab For Cutie while being completely separate.

I would recommend putting the album on your mp3 and then on shuffle.
Track to Download: Time ‘til I Die
Review written by: Grace Larkin -- review@irishunsigned.com

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