2001 – Volta Sounds – 36 minutes

The Irish musical landscape of late has been dotted with the omnipresent singer/songwriter. The last couple of months alone have been marked by several releases of varying quality from the one-man-and-his-guitar fold. This album sees another contender throw his hat into that particular ring. Step forward, Paul O'Reilly, a talented guitarist who pens fragile melodies for tender souls.

The album is mixed to highlight O'Reilly's soft tones. Lyrically sparse, he deals in love, beauty and his own fragile view of the world. At just 36 minutes, the sound comes across as an impressively understated, almost humble offering.

'Winter' is a seasonal soundscape bound to take on more resonance in the coming months while 'Ties' is a simple, intimate hush of heartfelt thoughts. There are moments when the guitar composition becomes cyclical, almost as if he's unsure where to call a halt to things. This is also evident in the 'Birds Don't Sing' outro which takes 'repeat to fade' to a new (and slightly tedious) length. The songs are well-crafted, if lacking a little diversity over the course of an entire album.

While it seems that the singer/songwriter shelves are well-stocked at the moment, there is still room for Paul O'Reilly's musical vision.

Sineád Gleeson

Tracklisting: Winter – Beautiful – Rise At Dawn – Bird's Don’t Sing – Here – Ties – So We Can Rest - Pictures