Ride the Wind
Irishman Tony McLoughlin’s fourth album, produced by Ben Reel, is not bad by any means, but it is mediocre. The songs are bland – for an album that blends rock with folk there is not a single memorable song. According to the release information that came with the CD, Ride The Wind is ‘undoubtedly going to rattle the cage’. It fails to mention that it will be rattling either in frustration or because the music is playing in an old-fashioned elevator.
Although born and raised in Ireland, McLoughlin began playing in folk clubs when he was studying at Aston University in Birmingham. Eventually, he started writing his own songs and spent much of his early recording career in Germany – probably a wise thing to choose a country that thinks David Hasselhoff is a great singer.
The opening words of the title track sum up the entire album. Fade to gray... Like much of the album it is overdone with backing instrumentation, presumably in an attempt to liven things up. The sixth track on the album ‘Deep Under Your Spell’ brings blessed relief from the guitars, and the way that McLoughlin mumbles most of the words is more of a relief than anything.
The album follows on from McLoughlin’s 2006 ‘neglected masterpiece’ Tall Black Horse. It is the first that he has recorded in Ireland and it is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland. Despite what the release notes might claim, however, this album does not lie even close to Springsteen or Neil Young, never mind between them.