Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Review: The Man Whom - The Greatest Event

The Greatest Event is the début album from Wexford singer/songwriter and producer Ian Doyle, under the moniker of The Man Whom. It’s a ten strong collection of modern folk music, lovingly constructed with immense attention to detail.

Mercury Rev and Villagers influences successfully blend together on opening track “Easier To Run”.  A cracking folk song emerges from a hazy finger-picked intro, sprinkled with deft touches of piano and somber violin strains throughout. Ian Doyle’s warm storytellers voice and lyrics are instantly pleasing. An interesting oriental flavoured staccato middle eight, gives way to a beautiful extended coda of somber, yet reassuring harmony vocals mixed with a more prominent string section.

It’s hard to make banjo sound contemporary, but Doyle, does just that on “Sing till There’s No Songs Left”. There’s a hint of Belle and Sebastian in the air, as the horns flourish on this quirky number, which is reminiscent of The Statler Brothers “Flowers on the Wall”. An early highlight that shows Doyle, is an accomplished composer, proficient in many styles.

This proficiency in genre hoping continues through the impressive “I know Your Face” and the Mumford and Sons tinged blues of “Leavin This Town”. However, the brushed drum propelled country folk pop of “Over And Under”, stands out as a sun-kissed highlight. The interplay between the instruments is fluid and cohesive. While the impressive three-part harmony vocals give the track an authentic Cali-Country feel.

“Autopilot” builds slowly and surely on a bed of finger picked guitar, coloured with short rushes of mystic, whooshing cymbals. Before taking an unexpected diversion, through a fifteenth century French garden party.  Doyle’s eclectic stylings continue through the albums final tracks “The Man Who Knew To Much” and “Till Its Gone”. The lather song, spans thirteen minutes in length and is split into two sections, with five minutes of electronic butterfly beeping separating them.

The Greatest Event is a noteworthy début and the future bodes well for Doyle and Co.  Not every song delivers a killer hook, but there is certainly enough quality and dept within the material to warrant repeated listening and continued enjoyment.

No comments: