So­las ★★ Na­palm Records

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

They’re known for their in­cur­sions into hard rock, but The An­swer’s sixth al­bum is pos­si­bly their most mel­low yet. Their new­found pen­sive­ness comes af­ter a pe­riod of fi­nan­cial and per­sonal up­heaval, not least in­volv­ing lead singer Cor­mac Nee­son’s new­born son – but any sense of angst is strangely and dis­ap­point­ingly neg­li­gi­ble here. Things start well with the echoed, cin­e­matic rock of So­las, the op­er­atic Beau­ti­ful World treads the vir­tu­ous side of ‘cheesy’ and Bat­tle Cry stirs a cel­e­bra­tory am­bi­ence. The same can’t be said for the al­bum’s lat­ter half which quickly de­scends into ra­dio-friendly MOR, from the Bon Jovi-es­que Left Me Stand­ing to cloy­ing duet

Real Life Dream­ers. A few more plucky choices, as heard on the bluesy stomp of De­mon Driven

Man, would have made for a more com­mand­ing col­lec­tion. thean­

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