Album Review / Colm Mac Con Iomaire: The River Holds Its Breath – Tost ar an Abhainn

Colm Mac Con Iomaire‘s new album is a natural link in the chain of his previous works: very calm and soothing music, this time with strings in the forefront. One might argue if this blog is the right place to review music whose Irish or Celtic roots are well in the background, hardly noticeable, but they are there. I’d say the genre here is, very roughly, light classical the same way film scores are hard to place in any certain category.

But labels aside, this is very well made, very honest and very much in keeping with the composer’s signature style. As on previous albums, nature is much in the picture as the track titles often refer to nature and the elements, painting, with the music, nice mental images.

Even if the scope of the arrangements is way more modest and the style a bit different, I’m reminded of Genesis keyboard player and composer Tony Banks‘ orchestral works: both men write music that obviously comes naturally to them and feature simple but very pleasant, nicely flowing themes that keep you wrapped up in a pastoral haze of a beautiful summer’s day – as I’m writing this outdoors on just such a day I can honestly say it works very well 😊

The only mild reservation I have is the lack of more intense and uptempo pieces. The entire running time of the album is in the same emotional state; I don’t think you should listen to this when a bit drowsy. The river does indeed hold its breath for the full 40 minutes.

But, having said that, I can recommend this for pure listening pleasure and also for the times when you feel life has kicked you over the head and you need music to tell you that things will be OK and there is still humanity and gentleness in this world.

The River Holds Its Breath – Tost ar an Abhainn is available on Colm Mac Con Iomaire’s web site and pretty much everywhere.

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