When the hits of today have faded, Polichinelle will still sound fresh and relevant.
Without question, this gorgeous set of intimate, meticulously crafted pop tunes was among the best albums to come across our desk this year.
Emmett Tinley: Press
Wicklow band The Prayer Boat were masters of downbeat songcraft and were tipped for big things with the release of their debut album in 1990. But despite their obvious talent and a handful of well-received albums, they never became more than just a fringe attraction.
Frontman Emmett Tinley has spent the past few years living in the US, Britain, Denmark and Holland, working with local musicians on his travels. This debut solo album is the fruit of his labours and it's a work of great quality far removed from the morose ramblings of many other singer songwriters.
Attic Faith is an unrelentingly sad album, full of doomed romanticism, with his distinct falsetto beautifully offset by a stirring string arrangement. The gorgeously fragile opener Comfort Me sets the tone, while Closer To Happy and Heart Still Breaking make for perfect late night listening.
The quality wanes towards the end of the album, but on the whole it's a work of a very fine artist whose mojo is still very much intact.
Album of the Month. So consistently beautiful it could be displayed in a shop window .... Absolutely incandescent.
Emmett Tinley doesn't do 'immediate'.His songs never, ever grab you on the first listen: sometimes they even seem a bit pedestrian. But give it five or six hearings, and something mysterious happens. Some sort of magical osmosis sees Tinley's songs transformed into the most glorious, heartfelt paeans to loves lost, loves left behind and loves that never really existed in the first place except in your wildest imaginings. I don't know how he does it, but the songs' emotive tendrils snake their way around your heart without your even realising that it's happening, until you find yourself moved almost to tears by the sheer beauty of that voice, singing those words.
This album from the former Prayer Boat frontman has been in the bag for some time, but contractual difficulties delayed it's release until now, when the good folks at Independent Records (home of fellow troubadors Josh Ritter and Mark Geary) stepped in and did the necessary to ensure Tinley's debut solo release finally makes it's way onto the shelves. And music fans throughout the country should rejoice that they did, as Attic Faith is one of the most stunningly beautiful albums you're likely to hear all year, from the swooping 'I Want You' to the breath-stopping 'Come To Life', an old favourite from The Prayer Boat days.
I wouldn't recommend listening to many of these 10 songs too intently if you're not feeling particularly chipper, however. There's very little in the way of boy-meets-girl-and-lives-happily-ever-after here. Song titles like 'Heart Still Breaking', 'Amsterdam Weeps' and'Killing The One I Love' will give you some indication as to the emotional terrain we're traversing. If, as has been suggested, Tinley has the voice of an angel, then his are the tonsils of a cherub who's been through the torture of a thousand lifetimes of unrequited love. Even when he seems to have found his ideal life partner, on 'Comfort Me', his nagging self-doubt drags him back into the doldrums of melancholy.
While it may not be the ideal gift for your best mate who has just broken up with his or her other half after a decade together, Attic Faith is a gorgeously fragile, deliciously delicate album to make you fall in love with sad songs again, an album to wallow in for hours at a time and an album to soften the heart of even a cynical, scarred and scorned music hack. Misery, after all, loves company.
ATTIC FAITH is Emmett Tinley's first solo album, a fully formed, ambitious record filled with beautiful soundscapes, lush strings and vocal harmonies.
The centrepiece of the album is Tinley's voice, a lovely reedy thing, that is highly ambiguous as it ranges from the falsetto of 'Come To Life' to the husky jagged vocals of 'I Want You'.
Tinley knows when to let his voice do the work and ditches the intricate arrangements on songs like 'Heart Still Breaking' and 'Come To Life' in favour of sparse guitar and piano.
It's hard to describe Tinley's style of music. Contemporary is probably the best word but it is not contemporary rock, pop or country. Rather, it strikes one as a gentle and delicate attempt at beauty, which is a noble aim for any kind of music.
There are so many very good songs on this album, 'Comfort Me', 'Christmastreet', 'I Want You' and 'Snow Dome' and, in as far as comparisons are always unjust, these songs bring to mind the songwriterly talents of Jeff Buckley, Coldplay and David Gray.
But there is a simplicity , a folkiness, to some of Tinley's songs (such as 'Killing The One I Love') that makes them seem less contrived and more timeless.
It's an Irish singer-songwriter's perogative to appear joylessly introspective these days, and Emmett Tinley's solo debut certainly wears it's artfully anxious physiognomy on it's sleeve. Yet Attic Faith is far from the ode to miserablism it first seems. While revealing something of a poetic midlife crisis in his lyrics of romantic regret and artistic angst, the former Prayer Boat frontman expertly elevates and balances the moods with cleverly uplifting chord sequences and heart-tugging string arrangements. In careless hands, these beautifully crafted songs may well have sounded cold and bleak, but thanks to Victor Van Vugt's warm, velvety production, such bittersweet tearjerkers as Christmastreet and Amsterdam Weeps become luxuriously satisfying, like hot chocolate on a winter's day. Up there with the albums of Rufus Wainwright or Jeff Buckley, this is easily Tinley's best work. Truly sublime.
Dublin's own Emmett Tinley's first album is one he ought to be very proud of. From it's gorgeous musical soundscapes, lush fragile arrangements and ragged choked up vocal; it is a beauty. Songs like 'Christmastreet' and 'Heart Still Breaking' could almost move you to tears such are their sublime delicateness. Fans of Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright will devour this one. JP
His first solo outing after 12 years with Dublin band The Prayer Boat, Tinley packs off with a guitar over his shoulder and a hankie full of aching, dramatic compositions. Helping himself to numerous elements from the Jeff Buckley hamper - a well-worn trick - Tinley nonetheless gets away with an elegant and vividly soul-searching album. (AM)
These are gently euphoric songs, dealing in romantic absolutes with a supreme lightness of touch, somewhere between Aztec Camera's High Land, Hard Rain and The Blue Nile (the outro of Balance in very Downtown Lights). But it's Emmett Tinley's beautiful, high, grainy tenor that makes this so special, channelling such pure emotions that you remember why phrases as simple as "won't you stay" have such terrifying power.
... een zanger die zijn liedjes met ijl stemgeluid van hemelse melodieen voorziet.
De songs zijn stuk voor stuk melodische en authentieke pareltjes, groots klinkend door Tinleys schitterende stem.
Het tweede album dat The Prayer Boat maakte onder de titel Polichinelle mag gezien worden als een cultklassieker.
Deze jubileumuitgave is de kans om alsnog kennis te maken met deze tijdloze muziek en de mooie zang van leadzanger en songwriter Emmett Tinley.