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Keith Burke and The Little Black BookKeith Burke and The Little Black Book
Album: These Boys
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 9

The one word that defines Keith Burke's new album 'These Boys' would be 'Simplicity'. With his band the Little Black Book, Keith originally from Skerries Co. Dublin takes us along as his perfect partner on a summer's road trip with glistening sparkles leaping from each enjoyable track.

From the opening snappy drum kit of the first track 'A Brother Hear Me Out' to the laid back rimshot on the closing title track 'These Boys', we are woven through a quintessen-tial defined pop compendium. It's easy to review a album that puts a happy smile on your face particularly tracks like 'Crazy Babe' with the recognisable smooth fiddle playing of Sinead Madden (a fine songwriter in her own right). The simplicity is not a criticism but a reminder that great songs don't need too much tweaking.

Gavin Glass' production works well within the confines of the band and the sound is reminiscent of early eighties cutting edge pop like Joe Jackson and The Jags. Gavin lays down a subtle hammond on 'Cut Our Teeth' and puts down his marker well in constrain-ing these fine melodies with a delicate layer of chords.

The only down side would be that 'Hey come on now be real' was a bit too similar to 'Walking on Memphis' but after playing it a few times I soon got over my stingy reluctance and really started to enjoy the song.

'Sounds like something John might play' really grabbed me with Anja Kunjic' s playful engaging piano, I just wished it had more lyrics to take me on it's lush ethereal refrain.

'The Making of a Saint' which in contrast is a darker earlier song written in 2009 and is definitely the cream of the collection, bringing colour to the recording and a lyric content that asks questions from deep down in the psyche.

If you like like your melodies straight from the gut this is a perfect aperitif, a satisfying main course and a refreshing dessert.

David Dee Moore