ROYAL WOOD The Burn­ing Bright

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

★★★

Maple Mu­sic Record­ings

There’s a sig­nif­i­cant poignancy to The Burn­ing Bright, the new al­bum from Cana­dian singer-song­writer Royal Wood. Fol­low­ing the break­down of his mar­riage a cou­ple of years ago, he high­tailed it to Slane, Co Meath, the ori­gin of his Ir­ish an­ces­tors. Once there, he knuck­led down to writ­ing a suite of songs that, in a ten­der, un­der­stand­ing and empathetic man­ner, doc­u­mented the un­der­ly­ing rea­sons for the break-up. So far, so mo­rose. But what Wood has done is to wrap such mis­giv­ings in the kind of pop/folk ar­range­ments that are tai­lor-made for ra­dio as well as that re­li­able, to­tally free standby in times of in­ter­nal con­flict – whistling. Pris­tine pop tunes such as White Flag match the class of Ron Sex­smith, while

I Wish you Well is as sob-heavy a song as you’ll hear this year. roy­al­wood.ca

TONY CLAYTON-LEA

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