CD Sweet Blue Gene (CD 889149),
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Sweet Blue Gene
Michael J. Sheehy
1. Just Love Me
2. Oh Sweet Jesus
3. Everything Is Beautiful
5. I Can't Comfort You Anymore
6. Auditory Nerves
7. Daddy Is a Good Man
8. I Shame You With My Kisses
9. Sweet Home Under White Cloud
10. Licensing Song
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 80216
Michael J. Sheey
Gareth Parton; Phil Morris
Personnel: Michael J. Sheehy (vocals, guitar, piano, Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, tambourine, tape loops); Victoria Benjamin (vocals); Fiona Brice (violin); William Vincent (viola, piano); Ben Till (cello); Michael Brett (harmonica); Fray Smith (upright bass); Ian Burns (drums); Dimitry Tikovoi (programming).
Composer: Fiona Brice.
Personnel: Michael J. Sheehy (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, drums, tambourine, percussion, loops, background vocals); Fiona Brice (violin, hand claps); Ian Burns (drums, bells); James Fortune (hand claps); Gareth Parton (programming).
Audio Mixer: Gareth Parton.
Recording information: Fortress I.
Former frontman for the Dream City Film Club, Michael J. Sheehy's solo debut strips down the murkiness and aggression of that band, and strives toward a brittle, more personal experience. Instead of Dream City Film Club's all-or-nothing attack, Sheehy relegates the darker side of his persona into perhaps three of the ten songs here, and it's the other seven songs that are the true revelations. Sheehy packs so much emotion into his mostly delicate vocals that his voice reads like a diary into his soul. In the place of Dream City Film Club's squalid guitars are violins, cellos, and pianos that sweep around and complement Sheehy's confident delivery. With Sheehy himself playing more than half of the instruments, Sweet Blue Gene is quite an accomplishment. The strongest songs are those that expose the most emotion. "Love Me" is a call for a cheating lover to just do what the title says, no matter what they do with their other lovers. "I Can't Comfort You Anymore" is a poetic look at the loss that death brings. "Daddy Is a Good Man" might be Sheehy's saddest song, as a father tells a child that he's a good man and that the child shouldn't "listen to mummy's lies." "The Licensing Song" is as full of hope as a song about despair can be, with Sheehy singing, "the bars close too early in this town." Sweet Blue Gene is a mature, powerful release from an artist not afraid to unleash every last emotion through his voice and songs. ~ Tim DiGravina
Q (7/00, p.124) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Unearths a rudimentary fear of religion and failure....Sheehy is best when he lets his warming vocal envelop the kind of timeless stories that the Elvises Presley and Costello would have lapped up from their loneliest bunkers."
CMJ (6/5/00, p.25) - "...An overall rousing listen....[he] has hauntingly bared his sweet blue soul for all to witness..."
Mojo (Publisher) (5/00, p.88) - "...A wonderfully old-fashioned record...coloring a basic country/blues template with classic tales of disaffection....Just as often traditional forms are twisted into new shapes..."
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Blanco y Negro Records BBQCD 216
Alternative Dis. Alliance
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