2002 - 45 minutes - Loza Records

This solo debut from the late Mary Jane Mic Christopher is a tribute to the man himself, as well as to family and friends who put the final touches to the album.

A member of the Grafton Street busking tribe, which included Glen Hansard of The Frames and Kila's Ronan O'Snodaigh - both of whom contribute here, along with Gemma Hayes and his Mary Jane's bandmates - Christopher had been working on this album before the accident which resulted in his untimely death in November 2001.

It is near impossible to listen to 'Skylarkin' and ignore the circumstances surrounding its release. Always a popular song, 'Heyday' has taken on a new anthemic quality with Christopher's death. So too have lyrics gained a poignancy unintended by the writer - "...we've been 'round/And getting closer to our dreams/There'll be a mark here when we leave/So everybody'll know what we've been 'round" (I've Got Your Back').

Maybe if Christoper had had more time he would have worked for longer on some of the songs which recycle the same musical ideas. That aside, his voice - a warm, vibrant instrument - makes up for other shortfalls.

'Skylarkin' is a worthy debut for Christopher - it's a shame that he's not around to see it fly.

Caroline Hennessy

Tracklisting: Heyday - Kids Song - Listen Girl - Looking For Jude - That's What Good Friends Do - The Loneliest Man In Town - Wide Eyed And Lying -What A Curious Notion - I've Got Your Back - Skylarking - Daydreamin'