Sony - 2003 - 49 minutes

In the time it has taken Paddy Casey to follow up his debut, David Kitt released three albums, Damien Rice jumped from a dreary band to the Shortlist Music Prize and Josh Ritter got the run of venues all over the country. That ground is to be made up is an understatement.

'Living' will help plenty, even if it's easy to come away thinking it doesn't do Casey full justice. Holding him back is a production that's far too glossy for the roughness of his voice and at times makes him sound like he's gasping for air under a mixing desk. The likes of 'The Lucky One' and 'Saints & Sinner' highlight why less is more - they could still be anthems without keyboards and backing singers.

All these songs are strong enough to hold their own on any stage, but if intimacy is the lifesblood of Casey's craft, then some of it has been sucked out here. It would be foolish to make people wait four years while he gets it back.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Livin' - The Lucky One - Saints & Sinners - Bend Down Low - Want It Can't Have It - Don't Need Anyone - Promised Land - All in a Day - Stumble - Anyone That's Yet to Come - Miracle - Self Servin' Society