Search - Black 47 :: Trouble in Land

Trouble in Land
Black 47
Trouble in Land
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

After 10 years of frenetic pub gigs in Manhattan and a series of politically militant, genre-scrambling records, you might guess that Black 47 would have run out of anger and energy, or at least smoothed their ragged edges...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Black 47
Title: Trouble in Land
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 1
Label: Shanachie
Original Release Date: 1/11/2000
Release Date: 1/11/2000
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: British & Celtic Folk, Celtic, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 016351574121, 669910073155

After 10 years of frenetic pub gigs in Manhattan and a series of politically militant, genre-scrambling records, you might guess that Black 47 would have run out of anger and energy, or at least smoothed their ragged edges. Not hardly. Trouble in the Land is their most musically incendiary release since their first recorded rampage. Larry Kirwin still sings with a biting Celtic slur and the band still somersaults through an improbable fusion of ska and Irish folk music. But if Black 47 seems spent at all, it's oddly enough in its politics. "Bobby Kennedy" is a predictable lionization of the last family in the world in need of further mythologizing. The title cut sets out to lacerate racist militias but needs more punch than the truism "too many people got guns in the hands." Thankfully, the remaining songs are smarter. "Fallin Off the Edge of America" is a harrowing picture of junkie despair that recalls Warren Zevon's "Carmelita," while "I Got Laid on James Joyce's Grave" is a funky satire of romantic tourism worthy of Swift. Best of all is "Touched By Fire," in which Kerwin evokes the hopes of Irish revolutionaries of the 1920s with beautiful lines such as "The night has come, the stars are achin' / For you and me and all our naked dreams." --Roy Kasten

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CD Reviews

Mike Borowski | West Palm Beach, Florida | 01/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Some CD's require multiple listenings before one appreciates the quality and content of the recording. Not so, with Black 47's "Trouble In The Land." The CD jumps at the listener with a gritty , yet listenable performance which captures the feel of a Black 47 live concert.The album is perhaps Black 47's most lyrically loaded recording; and this allows the listener to have a full dose of Larry Kirwan's evocative vocalizations, not to mention his writing. The CD also seems to feature more focus upon Freddy Parcell's trombone and Geoffrey Blythe's sax as more than support for the guitar work and vocals. The only missing element comes from a de-emphasizing of Chris Byrne's hip-hop vocal style. If only the guys would have included one or two more cuts....! Buy this album today!"
Honesty, Committment, and Passion | New York | 08/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Lead singer and main songwriter Larry Kirwan writes some of the most awkwardly phrased lyrics you will ever hear. His singing is a strange yelp that always sounds a little off-tempo and off-key. The other singer, Chris Byrne, plays ullean pipes and growls out strained, raspy pseudo-rap. The band is a collection of misfits picked up in the streets and bars of New York City. Add it all up... and you have a great band. Black 47 is like no other band I know. Irish influenced rock that rails against oppression, sings about the bleakness of life and love in a way that is not lyrical, but starkly real. Some songs are history lessons, featuring long spoken pieces by guest speakers, and some songs are simply and joyfully ludicrous. Through it all is the Kirwan, holding it all together with his vision and passion. More than anything, Black 47 is a band of moments. Case in point: In the midst of a somewhat pedestrian rocker about Kirwan trying to find a prostitute in Europe to have sex on James Joyce's grave (I kid you not), the band suddenly changes tempo, changes key, and gives 75 seconds of the most uplifting, purely joyful music you will hear this year. A Black 47 album is full of such moments, sewn together with the rough threads of honesty, commitment, and passion."
I think i know what's wrong here...
lance-from-france | da bronx | 12/10/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"the problem here is NOT that "trouble in the land" is a BAD album...i daresay black '47 is not CAPABLE of producing a bad album (despite the fact larry can't sing)...but rather, we all know they CAN do and HAVE done way better. and THAT's their own fault. this should've been black '47's first release. a few kick-(...) tracks like "those saints", "desperate", and my personal favourite, "bodhráns on the brain" would've been more than enough to hook people's attention, while the other, less-memorable selections would've still left them some room for improvement. instead, however, they made the mistake of making a name for themselves with "fire of freedom", a bloody masterpiece with not one bad song on it that nothing (well, nothing but a live performance) could even come close to bettering.
the trick to appreciating "trouble in the land" would be to try NOT to compare it to the boys' previous work. give it a chance and you'll realise not only is it NOT "fire of freedom", it's also pretty different from anything they've done before. and different isn't always a bad thing. and even still...those of you who can't be without your funky ceili WILL (try though you might to resist) become addicted to "bodhráns".
don't overlook this one just cos it isn't the boys' best. it's still very much worth the money."