The 'where's he been hiding?' act for many on this year's series of 'Other Voices', Cork's Mick Flannery has built up a following the best way: word of mouth. After this, many more will be talking and listening and maybe he'll get his own episode of 'Other Voices' - he certainly has the songs for it.

If you're adamant that Ireland may sink with another singer-songwriter on tour, then this is a record to seek out; you won't notice the time passing and the nation will remain afloat. Moving between piano and guitar, Flannery spends the majority of the songs in ballad tempo but it's testament to his skill that this album, full of old-fashioned values and ambience, never becomes monotonous. His worn-down voice as he re-runs relationships connects from the off, while as a storyteller he pulls you right into the lives he unfolds.

What's all too rare these days is for an artist to have the ability to instil excitement about what they're going to do next time. That's always a thought here. On 'Tomorrow's Paper' and 'What Do You See' Flannery shows that there's more to him than just the wee small hours and that he can speed things up to equally impressive effect. While he's rooted in tradition and has learned from masters, you know he won't make this record again. And at 24, you wonder just what he'll be making by 30.

Harry Guerin