Artemis - 2002 - 49 minutes

Marah's second album, 'Kids in Philly', was a rootsy guidebook to the charms and characters of their hometown and one of the best of 2000. Recorded above an auto repair shop, Marah sounded like the world's coolest bar band and a living link to the greats of yesteryear. Two years on, they've toured a lot and been tipped as the next big thing, but something's got lost between Philly and here.

With big name producer Owen Morris (Oasis, The Verve, Ash) at the controls, Marah's edginess has been smothered and replaced with a stadium rousing gloss. The strength of songs like 'Float Away' (with hero Bruce Springsteen on lead guitar) and 'All We Know We're Dreaming' still powers through, but too many times this album sounds like present day Oasis could write it - competent rock but average rock. There's never the sense of drama and detail which they had in spades last time around and while the album will grow on you so too will the feeling of 'if only'.

No dud, but listen to 'Kids in Philly' and you'll understand just how much 'Float Away' had to live up to.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Float Away With the Friday Night Gods - Soul - Revolution - People of the Underground - Crying on an Airplane - Leaving - Shame - All We Know We're Dreaming - What 2 Bring - Out in Style