My favorite Irish poets have put out a short album – Belfast Sun.
The titular song immediately puts you in the mood with its opening bars, which you know will reappear and you’ll be singing along with by the end. This number has a kind of late 60s, early 70s funk vibe, with a heavy bass carrying you along. In fact, they all do. Perhaps this should be heard in a dimly lit, smoky little underground joint where crowds lounge around on couches. And I mean this in a good way.
The other numbers are similarly evocative of images of the masses, whether its a kickback to the spoken word over music and a slower, more languid piece contemplating revolution and rising up (“Breaking the Back…”,) or in a soft melodic tone which seems like a love song, and in fact is in a way, if you don’t listen to the words like “you won’t beat me down…” in a sort of tribute to the power and influence (good and bad) of celebrity.(“Cassius”)
Finally, I was excited to hear “Don’t Fuck with Sonny” as it’s the one I picture with an audience up on its feet, beating along with the rhythm using their home made percussive instruments. This too has that heavy bass background, which really ties all these numbers together. It’s exciting to see the experimentation with new styles and forms. Not surprising. The minds that put this stuff together are rarely idle and often hungering towards their next subject.
For this album, as with any SBM work I find my self immediately swaying to the rhythm, and only then do I start to catch some of the words:
“I can’t stand the rain”
“beat that nigger down”
and perhaps a new favorite:
“I hear Smokey say ‘You won’t beat me down and you won’t make me sing: ‘Tears of a Clown’”
And, as with all SBM works – it makes contemplate my world and my neighbor. So if art makes you think, and music brings people together….I’d say this is quite a nice little package.
I want more, please.