Funeral, Home, Lizard...

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Funeral, Home, Lizard...
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When something out of the usual arrives in a PR Jiffy bag, it tends to jump the queue in the ever-present, never-diminishing CD review mountain. The CD title and producer Wayne P Sheehy’s observation that the artist is “not only a talented singer and songwriter but also highly intelligent and absolutely beautifully bonkers” ensured that it was undemocratically elevated by a few steps.

Laura’s background in theatre is surely an influence on the series of dramatic monologues that comprises Funeral, Home, Lizard... but it also, as Robert James Hurt observes, “holds a mirror up to Ireland in 2017, pulling no punches”. And it does, sometimes darkly serious, and at other times wickedly humorous, going for the jugular one minute, and playing arpeggios on the heartstrings the next.

Relationships come under forensic scrutiny, ‘Real Estate’ a laceration of the (one hopes) outdated notion that lovers are the property of each other, whilst over dramatic chords ‘Even Stephen’ skewers mercilessly a former lover and his intended bride. ‘Legs ‘Eleven’ calls as witnesses Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Posh Spice, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford and a cast of other female pin-ups as Ms Mulcahy rails at the blatantly-sexist media treatment of high profile women. ‘Dummies Guide To Love’ is a concise and arrow-true examination of the cynical, manipulative commercialisation of romance, concluding that – “love is...holding my hair back while I’m being sick and love is suffering me when I act like a dick”. Yet for all the righteous, cynical bile, the messages are hammered home via gentle melodies that have an air of improvisation and a deceptive sweetness.

When more contentious issues feature, the horrors of sexual abuse are laid bare in ‘Supper At The Cousins’, and although the gentleness, almost playfulness of melody continues, there is a dark shadow in the vocal delivery, with the harrowing domestic abuse imagery in ‘Moonshine’ delivered over a skipping rhythm, and in almost innocent tones, as revenge is enacted. And if we’re never told how to think as ‘The Affair’ unfolds, the vocal nuances hint heavily at the sleaziness of the participants and the singer’s disapproval.

Reminiscent in its drama and singular form of delivery of Liz Lenten and Auburn, this is a series of brutally-honest state-of-the-western-world observations and protests, that is at turns uncomfortable, and at others laugh-out-loud outrageous. That'll do for me.

Date added: Oct 08, 2017

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