Into Your Heart

Into Your Heart

by Hothouse Flowers

CD

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Overview

The Irish band's first American release since 1993's excellent Songs from the Rain is a big improvement over 1998's disappointing Born, an album that nearly derailed the band. But the core trio of Fiachna O'Braondin, Liam Ó Maonlaí, and Peter O'Toole return to their pop-soul roots on Into Your Heart, with impressive results. As its title implies, these songs are typically moody, and the ballad-heavy collection could use more upbeat moments to spark the ambience, but this is still a stirring effort. Jumping off with a few pieces in the epic mode of their past successes, "Your Love Goes On" adds horns and the Dublin Gospel Choir to its inspirational lyrics, creating a thunderous, churchy singalong worthy of the band's best work. Ó Maonlaí is in excellent voice throughout. Confident, brash, yet sensitive, he anchors the music and even slips into a ghostly falsetto on "Better Man" when the emotional juices get flowing. There is a rather sappy '70s West Coast vibe to some of the tunes, which waters down "Alright" and makes it sound like something from an old America or Crosby, Stills & Nash album, a distraction even the prominent bouzouki can't overcome. Lead singer Ó Maonlaí doesn't do himself any favors when he tries to be Jackson Browne on the "These Days"-styled "Magic Bracelets," a tribute to deceased reggae master Joe Higgs, a friend of the bandmembers who recorded with them. Still, the singer's obvious passion pulls the outfit through the disc's weaker moments, which include adding unnecessary -- but generally not distracting -- drum loops to some tracks. A live acoustic traditional tune, "Sí Do Mhamó Í," is sung in Irish and comes complete with pennywhistle, closing the album in jig-worthy fashion and bringing the band's roots to the fore. Not as impressive as the trio of discs from the late '80s and early '90s that put Hothouse Flowers on the map, this is still a striking return to form that will satisfy old fans, even if it is unlikely to create many new ones.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/05/2004
Label: Eleven Thirty
UPC: 0634457700420
catalogNumber: 7004
Rank: 55886

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hothouse Flowers   Primary Artist
Caroline Dale   Cello
Liam Ó Maonlaí   Acoustic Guitar,Bouzouki,Harmonica,Piano,Harp,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Vocals,Background Vocals,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Group Member
Peter O'Toole   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Bouzouki,Piano,Bass (Vocal),Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Loops,Wurlitzer,Drum Loop,8-string Bass,Synthesizer Pads,Group Member
Dave Pearlman   Pedal Steel Guitar
Fiachna OBraonain   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Bass (Vocal),Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar,tin whistle
Richard Armstrong   Trumpet,Horn
Kieran Bradshaw   Background Vocals
Justin Carroll   Hammond Organ
Dublin Gospel Choir   Choir, Chorus
Justin Caroll   Hammond Organ
Dave Clarke   Bass,Percussion,Drums,Electric Guitar,Rhythm,8-string Bass,Group Member

Technical Credits

Hothouse Flowers   Producer
Caroline Dale   String Arrangements,Cello Arrangement
Mitch Griffin   Engineer
Liam Ó Maonlaí   Arranger,Composer,Vocal Effect
Peter O'Toole   Arranger,Composer,Engineer,String Arrangements,beats
Dave Pearlman   Engineer
Keith McDonnell   Engineer
Fiachna OBraonain   Arranger,Composer,Engineer
Tony Perry   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Kieran Bradshaw   Vocal Impersonations
Emre Ramazanoglu   Engineer
Dave Clarke   Arranger

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