Former Revelino front man steps out of the shadows on a sparkling solo album frothing over with pop rock classicism
As lead singer with nineties Liffey beat combo Revelino, Bren Tallon blazed fresh trails for sixties pop classicalism and, later, more alternative US influences across three finely made albums.
A highly successful re-release of the band's acclaimed debut last year was a reminder of just how good they really were and that Revelino were yet another Irish act who deserved so much more.
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Tallon has kept himself busy since those days of six-string glory, but he’s only now releasing his rather lovely debut solo album. Love in These Times sees him crack open another cask of his beatific pop tunes, strange sounding musical interludes, and acoustic balladry that recall a wide range of influences, from Jimmy Webb (Time And A Place) to Elliot Smith (Last Of The Russian Dolls) and on opener, The First Time I Saw You, the wounded vulnerability of Help! era Lennon.
Elsewhere, Be With Her Tonight approaches the divine mysteries of Simon and Garfunkel and early solo Macca, the title track takes a vampy doo wop Roxy Music/T-Rex detour, and American Strings goes vaguely psychedelic, like Love’s sixties touchstone Forever Changes crashing a Beach Boys recording session.
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With Fintan Jones on brass and backing vocals, drummers Johnny Boyle, Guy Rickerby and Mark Colbert, and Tallon’s late friend Gavin Ralston, it’s a beautifully crafted and polished set that still manages to maintain a grainy and textured sonic whack throughout.
This is the kind of starry-eyed romance and human empathy we need right now. These 11 tracks are the sound of a pop poet making the very reasonable suggestion that love is all and all is love.
Alan Corr @CorrAlan2