The third CD from Paul Mounsey, following in the success of Nahoo
and Nahoo Too
. Notes from the Republic
is softer and overall certainly a tamer experience than the somewhat-heavy rock of Nahoo Too
and the socio-cultural themes of Nahoo
. Much more orchestral, and overall not as memorable (with some exceptions), as its predecessors. There are some excellent songs here, but I think it's intended for those already familiar/interested in Mounsey's work. Definitely not the best to start with--for that I recommend Nahoo or Nahoo Too.
Notes from the Republic
Don Roberto's Sabbath
Carver Angus with Bites
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Taking Leave (Beir Soraidh Bhuam)
In my opinion the best piece on here, by far, is Reel Slow. Starting with a lilting electronic arrangement, it launches into a powerful, slow groove full of energy and excitement, with some achingly beautiful violins; it's one of those songs where the energy seems almost impossible to contain within the constraints of the rather slow BPM. Absolutely gorgeous; memorable, beautiful, and technically impressive. Probably my second- or third-favorite Mounsey song ever (still, nothing beats From Ebb to Flood. Nothing.)
Another worth mentioning is Unfinished Business. It is a little more mainstream that most Mounsey work, but it's quite good in its own way, combining ethnic instruments with Paul's own vocal talents.
"I will love you / beyond all thought of time... / we'll watch the first steps / of this distant child of mine... / and the rain that falls like teardrops / beyond the hill and glen / sounds like freedom, and brings / a sense of wonder..."
All in all, a decent but hardly revolutionary album, and the only Mounsey album that actually has some truly bad tracks (Taking Leave, Independence Blues). But hey, it's Paul Mounsey... and that can't be a bad thing!