Reekus Records - 2003 - 42 minutes

For many Irish bands, getting the recognition they deserve is a quest that can consume entire careers. The second album from Dublin band Saville might not grab you, but it is a gentle, confident nudge from a band who seem destined not to be overlooked for too much longer.

As polished and assured an album as any released here this year, 'Somnambular Ballads' is mercifully free of angst, this guitar band choosing to play with a smile, and it shows.

While on occasion only a couple of tra-la-la's away from the horrors of easy listening, Saville just about manage to steer through some of the blander patches on an album that is unashamedly middle of the road. The catchy 'I've Lost Touch with the World' opens the album with a warm, engaging sound echoed in later tracks such as 'What's on my Mind' and the penultimate song 'City of Engineers'.

The vocal harmonies and summer-time feel will inevitably draw comparisons with a certain other Irish band who made quite a splash this year, but it is nice to hear the Liffey proudly name-checked instead of Big Sur.

Saville's second release is certainly a pleasant listen, and given the name of the album, it seems perverse that this might just be the record to wake people up to their talents.

Ray Donoghue

Tracklisting: I've Lost Touch with the World - Circling the Sun - Somnambular Ballads - Morpheus - What's on my Mind - My Saving Grace - The End of the Affair - Friday Night Song - There's no Getting Over You - Beside Myself - Don't Let the Light Burn Out in your Eye - City of Engineers - Moonrise Lullaby