Cathal Coughlan: Music of Co Aklan – album evaluation

Cathal Coughlan: Track of Co Aklan

Dimple Discs

Out Now


A decade has passed because we read any new tunes from the inimitable Cathal Coughlan. The drought has been broken and we can all be sated as we drink from the fountain of the genius that comes in the kind of alter ego, Co Aklan and the album heralding his arrival in Tune of Co Aklan.

I don’t bandy that phrase about loosely. To liken him to a genius suggests big anticipations to be satisfied. But I sincerely think in what I create. From the opening bars of the albums title monitor, you are drawn into the planet of Co Aklan, properly obtuse lyrics with a deeper this means, along with Coughlan’s welcoming dynamic vocal.

Cathal Coughlan is possibly the most underneath-rated artist of his generation (and for that make a difference, right before and past). From the early times with Microdisney, as a result of the sheer caustic brilliance of Fatima Mansions, to the astonishing Bubonique with comedian Sean Hughes. He has latterly added to his burgeoning catalogue with a sequence of outstanding solo albums. Cathal has developed up an astounding body of function throughout his profession. This latest magnum opus, Song of Co Aklan, is a welcome and carefully amazing addition to this collection, the quality of its tracks pushing it up there with the ideal of them.

That voice…

That voice. Cathal has a voice that any crooner would die for, he can convert on a ha’penny, shifting supply mid-music, inflections assisting with the characterisation and storytelling within just the tales. His heat brogue can lend its voice similarly to the empathetic, just hear to the stunningly lovely album closer Unrealtime, and the biting and caustic. Usually within just a track from a single couplet to the following. He can modify to produce coarse humour and, matching the reserved empathetic passion he has the capability to portray, he can be equally biting and acerbic in his vehement outpourings – the bruising St Wellbeing Axe, for illustration.

Then there is that aforementioned characterisation and storytelling in his tune producing. The person has an unmatched poetic finesse. The images he paints with his deft use of language are astonishing. As a admirer of song lyrics, that was just one of the things that initial drew me to Microdisney and Fatima Mansions. You cannot assistance but drop in adore with the poeticism that operates all through this new album. There is absolutely nothing noticeable, derivative or generic in his songsmithery. It normally usually takes a number of listens to ponder and deduce what he is indicating with his use of allegories and imagery. The lyrics are clever and very well regarded as devoid of ever becoming contrived. Take the title keep track of and the likes of the beguiling The Lobsters Desire as a case in point, enjoy the lyrics and the time you will acquire unfolding and exploring the messages in.

One of a kind Artistry

Cathal’s voice and lyrics deserve a system equal to them to show the special artistry he shows. Luckily, the intricate preparations and musicianship furnished are a great match for the poetic masterpieces created by our principal gentleman.

The team of musicians he has gathered on this album is nigh on untouchable. Notably heading back again to his Microdisney and Fatima Mansions roots with Sean O’Hagan, Jonathan Fell and Nick Allum. Also getting joined by The Auteurs Luke Haines with his distinguished history, getting in Black Box Recorder. Other musicians include things like Rhodri Marsden, James Woodrow, John Bennett and Audrey Riley a lot of of whom Cathal has historic connections with, in the likes of The Grand Necropolitan Quartet,  and with backgrounds together with the likes of Superior Llamas & Scritti Politti. Whether the music needs understated strings, or forthright strident guitars, the musicians are correctly attuned to Cathal’s wavelength. Nothing at all is out of put, practically nothing is overblown, each and every piece has a perfect arrangement and harmony to match the tunes.

The resultant combination of that luxurious opulent voice, the sophisticated songsmithery and the superb musicianship success in a person of the superior points in Cathal Coughlan’s job to date. This album will in no way be much from my turntable in the course of 2021. It is a pleasure and privilege to have the tunes of Cathal back in my existence.

Cathal Coughlan – Website – Facebook – Twitter – Dimple Discs


All words and phrases by Neil Hodge. Much more producing by Neil on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. You can also locate Neil on the net at his blog thegingerquiff.



Post Author: BackSpin Chief Editor

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